Business, Financial & Legal News - Page 239

All the latest Business, Financial & Legal news as it relates to tech, gaming, and science - Page 239.

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AMD loses their CFO, just another in a long line of exec departures

Trace Hagan | Sep 17, 2012 5:31 PM CDT

Struggling chip maker AMD has lost yet another one of its top executives. Thomas Seifert, former CFO for AMD, has joined the ranks of the departed. Not too much is known about why he is leaving, other than the uninformative "to pursue other opportunities" reason that is always included in a company's press release when an executive leaves.

"We thank Thomas for his many contributions to AMD and for serving as interim CEO in 2011," said Rory Read, AMD president and CEO. "Thomas' personal commitment to the highest standards of accountability and financial integrity has helped define how AMD does business today. Devinder is an experienced financial executive whose financial expertise and semiconductor experience developed during his 28 year tenure at AMD is an asset to the company."

Seifert will remain the CFO until September 28 at which time Devinder Kumar, senior vice president and corporate controller, will take over as interim CFO. He will remain there while the search for a new, permanent CFO is under way.

Continue reading: AMD loses their CFO, just another in a long line of exec departures (full post)

Be wary: One in 10 social-media reviews will be paid for by 2014

Trace Hagan | Sep 17, 2012 1:31 PM CDT

Everyone has seen those social reviews posted online. A friend recommends a product or writes a review on Amazon that makes its way onto Facebook. You trust it because it's one of your friends, right? Well, it looks like you'll start having to be a little more careful about which you trust. A new study shows that 10-15% of social media reviews will be paid for by companies by the year 2014.

Companies are already paying customers or giving them discounts to write a positive review of a product or service, but this practice is starting to grow more into the mainstream. Research firm Gartner provides a bit of insight into the practice with their new study which makes this powerful prediction.

"With over half of the Internet's population on social networks, organizations are scrambling for new ways to build bigger follower bases, generate more hits on videos, garner more positive reviews than their competitors, and solicit 'likes' on their Facebook pages," Jenny Sussin, senior research analyst at Gartner, said today in a statement. "Many marketers have turned to paying for positive reviews with cash, coupons, and promotions including additional hits on YouTube videos in order to pique site visitors' interests in the hope of increasing sales, customer loyalty, and customer advocacy through social-media 'word of mouth' campaigns."

Continue reading: Be wary: One in 10 social-media reviews will be paid for by 2014 (full post)

Apple "completely blown away" by iPhone 5 demand

Trace Hagan | Sep 14, 2012 6:31 PM CDT

If you haven't heard the news, the iPhone 5 is pre-selling like crazy. The initial pre-order stock was exhausted from Apple's store in just one hour, leaving those who didn't stay up out in the cold. Customers are now being quoted up to two weeks for the device to ship, instead of arriving on the 21st of September.

Apple has issued a statement regarding the incredible demand seen: "Pre-orders for iPhone 5 have been incredible. We've been completely blown away by the customer response." Of course, this wasn't too unexpected. Analysts estimates put the number of iPhones sold in the first week somewhere near the 10 million mark.

It's now expected that 5-10 million will be sold in the first weekend. If you still want to get an iPhone 5 on launch day, Sprint is still quoting September 21 as the date. Otherwise, you can queue up outside an Apple store at 8am, or outside an AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint store. At least they had the courtesy to launch it before winter!

Continue reading: Apple "completely blown away" by iPhone 5 demand (full post)

Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak, doesn't agree with the Samsung patent verdict - 'hates it'

Anthony Garreffa | Sep 14, 2012 1:28 AM CDT

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has weighed in on the Apple vs. Samsung patent lawsuit, and has said that he hates the result, and doesn't agree with it, and he thinks that it will ultimately be overturned.

Wozniak told Bloomberg in Shanghai:

I hate it. I don't think the decision of California will hold. And I don't agree with it - very small things I don't really call that innovative. I wish everybody would just agree to exchange all the patents and everybody can build the best forms they want to use everybody's technologies.

Continue reading: Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak, doesn't agree with the Samsung patent verdict - 'hates it' (full post)

eBay updates logo to cleaner, more modern looking design

Trace Hagan | Sep 13, 2012 3:15 PM CDT

The online auction house giant eBay has updated their logo. Following in the footsteps of Microsoft, the new logo features a cleaner, more modern design, which eBay says is to reflect who they are today. It's taken them 17 years, but they finally took out a ruler and managed to get all four letters in a straight line.

Seventeen years ago, eBay created a new way for people to buy and sell. Since that time, we've enabled millions of people to launch their own businesses, and helped change the way the world shops for things they need and love. We're pleased to introduce our refreshed logo. It reflects who we are today - a global online marketplace that offers a cleaner, more contemporary and consistent experience.

The new logo will begin to show up across eBay's sites and marketing campaigns in mid-October. As the years have progressed, eBay has tried to diversify into a multi-platform e-commerce giant, which they have seemingly done to great success. As it stands currently, the majority of items sold are listed as new and with a fixed BuyItNow price.

Continue reading: eBay updates logo to cleaner, more modern looking design (full post)

HTC, Samsung burst out of the gate - suing Apple over the iPhone 5's use of LTE

Anthony Garreffa | Sep 12, 2012 8:21 PM CDT

Apple's new iPhone 5 is only a few hours old, with no consumers actually laying their hands on one just yet, the legal battles have begun. Samsung did threaten Apple that they would "immediately sue" the company if they used 4G LTE connectivity, and according to an industry source the Korean Times are reporting:

Samsung Electronics has decided to take immediate legal action against the Cupertino-based Apple. Countries in Europe and even the United States ― Apple's home-turf ― are our primary targets.

Samsung haven't taken legal action just yet, but I do not doubt we'll see some legal movement from the South Korean company. But, and here's the big but, HTC have already come out, lawyers swinging. The struggling device maker has lawyered up, presenting a patent claim to the US International Trade Commission Judge. Judge Thomas Pender has told Apple:

Continue reading: HTC, Samsung burst out of the gate - suing Apple over the iPhone 5's use of LTE (full post)

Google are upset, they didn't know you could patent rounded corners

Anthony Garreffa | Sep 12, 2012 1:48 AM CDT

It looks like Google were a little surprised by the patent win by Samsung, but not at the case itself, but with the smaller details. Bloomberg had Google's Vice President of Corporate Development, David Lawee, in front of the camera for an interview.

Lawee says in the interview itself that "we didn't know rounded corners were patentable", and covers that the company wasn't "aggressive" enough in patenting their intellectual property. The one thing I took away from this video is I think Apple have pushed every other large company to re-think where they stand with patents and IP.

Does this mean we're looking at a future of much more back room deals with companies, letting each other use the other company's patents? Or are we looking at companies who will be really held back if they don't have any decent IP or patents of their own? Did Apple just kick every other company in the balls with their Samsung attacks? I think so. Check out the interview over at Bloomberg.

Continue reading: Google are upset, they didn't know you could patent rounded corners (full post)

Microsoft's latest patent for next-gen Xbox would project images from your game, around you in your living room

Anthony Garreffa | Sep 11, 2012 8:13 PM CDT

It looks like the next-generation Xbox is about to get a kick up the arse in terms of immersion within gaming, is a new patent submitted to the United States Trademark and Patent Office from Microsoft is anything to go by. The new technology would completely transform the room your next-gen Xbox is in, into a gaming environment. The patent reads:

An immersive display environment is provided to a human user by projecting a peripheral image onto environmental surfaces around the user. The peripheral images serve as an extension to a primary image displayed on a primary display.

This could work in a few ways, with either a projection of an image from the Kinect sensor, or wearable computing. I'd be leaning more toward wearable computing - as this would allow the Xbox and Kinect system to just send the information to the headset, where it would display a 2D graphic in front of the player. This would translate into you looking at your wall, and seeing a crushed wall for example, with an enemy behind it shooting at you. You would then turn physically, facing the wall, to shoot your enemy.

Continue reading: Microsoft's latest patent for next-gen Xbox would project images from your game, around you in your living room (full post)

4,000 Boingo hotspots free for September, if you're not on iOS or Windows Phone

Trace Hagan | Sep 11, 2012 10:29 AM CDT

Google has partnered with Boingo to make 4,000 of its hotspots available nationwide for free for people accessing them with Android, OSX, or Windows. Interestingly enough, users of iOS and Windows Phone appear to be excluded from this offering, showing Google is really pushing Android with this latest stunt.

The hotspots are available across the United States in "high-traffic locations," coffee shops, hotels, and other areas. Google and Boingo are even offering this service at some of the major airports, including NY's JFK, O'Hare, and Seattle-Tacoma, along with the Boingo-enabled subway stations around Manhattan.

Dawn Callahan, vice president of consumer marketing for Boingo Wireless:

Continue reading: 4,000 Boingo hotspots free for September, if you're not on iOS or Windows Phone (full post)

Apple sues Polish online grocery store for using 'A.pl' domain, next stop Adam and Eve for eating the forbidden fruit

Anthony Garreffa | Sep 11, 2012 5:28 AM CDT

Alright, this is the stop for ridiculous - anyone who wants to get out and read this news, step off the train and onto the platform, joining Apple. The company who has more lawsuits going than there are stars in the sky are now suing a Polish online grocery store over the 'A.pl' domain.

The Cupertino-based company has asked the Polish patent office, the UPRP, to cancel a trademark belonging to the store. A meeting reportedly took place in August 29, but ended up being adjourned, and deferred to a later date. Polish site Telepolis, has said that if the dispute isn't settled out of court, it could take two to three years to resolve.

Considering that A.PL have absolutely nothing to do with technology, and are an online grocery vendor, Apple are really clutching at straws here. There's no Apple-like imagery on the website, and it's all in Polish, meaning that it really is only for people who can read the language, and I'm sure it doesn't beat against the door of any Apple-owned patents.

Continue reading: Apple sues Polish online grocery store for using 'A.pl' domain, next stop Adam and Eve for eating the forbidden fruit (full post)