Business, Financial & Legal News - Page 239
GAME receives 1UP, OpCapita buys 333 stores
We only reported a few weeks ago that GAME had gone into administration, with share prices tanking and job losses on the chopping board. But, in a reverse April Fools Day joke, OpCapita scooped up 333 GAME stores across the UK.
This new agreement secures nearly 3,200 jobs, which is a great thing in this shaky economy. There were also a few employees from head office who were made redundant, that may be re-employed. OpCapita is a private investment firm specializing in retail, they have set up a company called Baker Acquisitions to buy the GAME stores.
Financial terms of the deal haven't been disclosed, but it's being reported that OpCapita will not have to pay much up-front for the business, but will have to absorb a considerable amount of their debt. BBS business editor Robert Peston said on Saturday that the deal had been approved by six banks, led by the Royal Bank of Scotland, who are owed £85m between them.
Continue reading: GAME receives 1UP, OpCapita buys 333 stores (full post)
Apple, Foxconn set new standard for Chinese workers
Apple and Foxconn are making changes after one of the largest investigations ever conducted of a U.S. company's operations outside of America turned up some major labor law violations. Apple was almost forced into allowing the Fair Labor Association in to conduct a probe by the mounting complaints of Americans who wanted to see better working conditions.
Some of the issues included extreme overtime and unpaid overtime. Foxconn is cutting the maximum working hours from 60 to 49 a week and hiring thousands of new employees to cover the demand. "If Foxconn's labor cost goes up ... that will be an industry-wide phenomenon and then we have to decide how much do we pass on to our customers versus how much cost do we absorb," HP Chief Executive Meg Whitman told Reuters in February.
The cutting of the hours without any sort of pay increase is not something that the workers themselves want, because they need the hours in order to subsist on the low wages. "Until Apple shares a larger proportion of its profits with its supplier factories, workers will receive the same pittance for a salary while working around the clock," Li Qiang, the director of China Labor Watch, said in an emailed statement.
Continue reading: Apple, Foxconn set new standard for Chinese workers (full post)
Facebook releases Zuckerberg's Harvard emails, wants lawsuit dismissed
Facebook is currently stuck in a lawsuit with Paul Ceglia regarding whether or not he is entitled to half of the company. Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg has released a cache of personal emails which refute those claims. Many of these date back to his years back at Harvard where the social network was first created.
Facebook and Zuckerberg are hoping that the emails will be enough to refute Ceglia's claim to Facebook and have the case dismissed. The emails paint Zuckerberg in somewhat of an unflattering light, but should refute any claims to the company. Ceglia has previously released his own emails. Well, at least the content portion of the email.
This is an important point. Ceglia didn't have the entire email to release, but instead released Word documents in which he had copied and pasted into. Forensic investigators have since proven the documents to be forgeries. Ceglia's legal team hasn't quite given up yet:
Continue reading: Facebook releases Zuckerberg's Harvard emails, wants lawsuit dismissed (full post)
Apple's Siri smacked with false advertising lawsuit
We've all seen those ads that focus on Apple's personal assistant Siri. But does it really perform that seamlessly? Well according to a lawsuit filed on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, it doesn't. This isn't the first time that someone has accused Apple of falsely advertising Siri either.
"Through its nationwide multimedia marketing campaign, Apple disseminates false and deceptive representations regarding the functionality of the Siri feature," Jones charges, according to the LA Times, which obtained a copy of the suit. "For example, in many of Apple's television commercials, consumers are shown using Siri to make appointments, find restaurants, and even to learn the guitar chords to classic rock songs. In its advertisements, Apple depicts these tasks as easily accomplished 'just by asking' Siri."
Often times, according to Jones, Siri misunderstood what he was asking or when Siri did understand what he was asking, she returned the wrong answer. In Apple's defense, they have publicly said that Siri is in beta and acknowledged that it is a work in progress. Whether or not this will help if the case gets to trial, only time will tell.
Continue reading: Apple's Siri smacked with false advertising lawsuit (full post)
Apple grabbing more patents, Siri-like system for controlling cameras, PMPs through a computer or smartphone
Everyone and their uncle loves messing around with Siri by trying to get her to swear, both successfully and unsuccessfully, but it really is a cool piece of technology. The art of voice recognition is a pretty tough field, yet Siri works surprisingly well. It would appear that Apple is patenting a Siri-esque system that would be used to control cameras or portable music players through a computer or smartphone.
"Siri, turn on the flash and take two pictures with my camera after waiting three seconds." This is a representative of what could be possible with this new patent. Apple filed the patent way back in 2010, but it was just now posted online. An excerpt reads:
One embodiment may include a first electronic device communicatively coupled to a server and to a second electronic device. The second electronic device may be a portable electronic device, such as a digital media player, that includes a voice user interface. The second electronic device may be capable of accurate speech recognition, but may not include additional computation hardware and/or software for training the speech recognition engine. As such, the bulk, weigh, and cost for manufacturing the second electronic device may be reduced, resulting in a more portable and affordable product.
Continue reading: Apple grabbing more patents, Siri-like system for controlling cameras, PMPs through a computer or smartphone (full post)
EVGA set to unleash a new global warranty policy
EVGA are set to update their warranty policy with a new global-based policy, which will be announced in a week or so. EVGA's "New and Improved Global Warranty" will soon be publicly announced through their website, but between now and then we can look at the basic overview of the biggest changes to their system:
On top of this, EVGA will offer a Standard Cross-Shipping RMA service, free of charge. EVGA will cross-ship a replacement product to the customer, as long as the customer provides a valid credit card as collateral, and the customer will pay for the return shipping of their malfunctioning part. At the moment, the Advanced RMA Program covers shipping both ways.
Continue reading: EVGA set to unleash a new global warranty policy (full post)
IDC estimates Android will surpass Windows by 2016, could see 1.8 billion devices in the wild
We can feel it now: a massive undercurrent shift of the way we use technology. 10 years ago, if you wanted to use the Internet, you required a desktop, and failing that, a notebook. Notebooks were just too thick, and large, and their battery lives were crap. Desktops were the only route, really.
Now, you can use the Internet on your TV, fridge, smartphone, tablet, iPod, and countless other Internet-connected devices. The IDC has put out a long-term estimate, where they've put mobile and desktop platforms in a single smart device category, where they've estimated that Windows will slip from 35.9-percent market share in 2011, to just 25.1-percent in 2016.
Android would move from 29.4-percent to 31.1-percent in the same 2011-2016 time frame. iOS is the smaller puppy here, with just 14.6-percent from 2011, and with an estimated 2016 market share of just 17.3-percent. The total number of smart devices? This goes from a 1.1 billion predicted for this year, to 1.8 billion in 2016.
Continue reading: IDC estimates Android will surpass Windows by 2016, could see 1.8 billion devices in the wild (full post)
MegaUpload lawyer asserts feds are impeding defense
MegaUpload would like to gain access to its seized servers in order to collect evidence to prove the innocence of the accused MegaUpload employees. However, officials will not release the $1 million dollars required to do so, hence the claim that the feds are impeding the defense of MegaUpload. "It's hard to reconcile the chain of events in this matter with any other conclusion," Rothken said. "MegaUpload is frustrated and wants to preserve the data for litigation and to defend itself and ultimately -- with the approval of the court -- to provide consumers access to their data."
According to MegaUpload's lawyers, there is no criminal copyright infringement statute in the United States, so if the US get the extradition they are requesting, MegaUpload will be successful in its defense. MegaUpload's lawyers are trying to prepare for the extradition defense, but are unable to because they don't have access to the e-mails, documents, and files on the servers which they claim will refute the charges.
MegaUpload's lawyer negotiated a deal with Carpathia, MegaUpload's host, to buy the servers for a little over $1 million but the government again refused to release the money. "As we've stated previously," the spokesman wrote, "we continue to give careful and thoughtful consideration to any reasonable and detailed proposal by MegaUpload's counsel that addresses the practical and technical issues of this matter for the court. Ultimately, it is the court that will decide what is appropriate and whether any funds will be released to carry it out."
Continue reading: MegaUpload lawyer asserts feds are impeding defense (full post)
Apple get sued by Australian consumer watchdog, ACCC, says 4G iPad is misleading in Australia
In the words of Nelson from The Simpsons - "HA HA". What a great start to this news, as much as I love Apple (I'm rocking along with the new iPad and I've been loving it so far, there are issues, but it's overall a nice product) the 4G iPad is a huge misleading mess in Australia. When I went down to grab mine, you could see 4G signs and talk of it around the store, and it's just simply pathetic.
Apple are now finding themselves in a pickle in Australia, where Australian consumer watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has accused Apple of misleadingly calling its new iPad as 4G-capable. The ACCC have said they will be applying to the Federal Court of Melbourne for an order against the company and is moving for the court to impose fines and injunctions against sales.
The ACCC is saying that labelling the new iPad as 4G-capable is misleading to customers in Australia. Yes, 4G LTE networks are available here in Australia, but they run on an entirely different band to what the iPad is compatible with. 4G services in Australia provided by Telstra run on the 1800MHz frequency band, which makes them completely unusable on the new iPad. The new iPad only works on the 700MHz or 2100MHz frequency bands for its 4G LTE connectivity.
Continue reading: Apple get sued by Australian consumer watchdog, ACCC, says 4G iPad is misleading in Australia (full post)
Samsung has shipped over 5 million GALAXY Note smartphones
Samsung's 5.3-inch GALAXY Note smartphone has been doing surprisingly well for the South Korean-based company, having shipped over 5 million units in just five months. This is quite the achievement considering its one of the larger screened smartphones on the market today.
5 million units shipped, and the 5.3-incher doesn't even include Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, this is quite the achievement for Samsung. We should expect Samsung to released their Premium Suite of apps, as well as Android 4.0 in the near future.
Until then, the GALAXY Note is still an amazing looking phone. I personally wouldn't mind checking it out, but I'm waiting for some Ice Cream Sandwich lovin' before I get into that gorgeous 5.3-inch display. I really should stop dilly dallying and just get one, shouldn't I?
Continue reading: Samsung has shipped over 5 million GALAXY Note smartphones (full post)