Business, Financial & Legal News - Page 252

All the latest Business, Financial & Legal news as it relates to tech, gaming, and science - Page 252.

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Apple is set to become most profitable public company ever

Trace Hagan | Jun 18, 2012 1:27 PM CDT

Let's face it, Apple has more money than they know what to do with. Before their stock buy-back program, they had right around $100 billion in cash. Apple already has the record for most profitable quarter among technology companies, so what is next for the giant? One analyst believes they could become the most profitable publicly traded companies.

"In CY12, we believe Apple is poised to generate the highest annual net income of any publicly traded company ever," White wrote. "On average, we estimate Apple's net income in CY12 will be over 6x higher than the three tech companies on an individual basis (when at a $500 billion market cap) or 1.9x the aggregate profit of these three companies combined. When including all five companies, we estimate Apple's net income in CY12 will be 4x higher than the average."

So why the huge increase in value? White is citing a new iPhone with a 4" screen launching in the third quarter, an "iPad mini" that is set to launch sometime in September, and an upcoming HDTV made by Apple. White has confirmed his buy recommendation along with a price target $1,111, which is about double the current price of $572 (as of opening bell Monday).

Continue reading: Apple is set to become most profitable public company ever (full post)

Facebook CTO leaves, heads for unnamed startup

Anthony Garreffa | Jun 18, 2012 1:31 AM CDT

Bret Taylor was Facebook's chief technology officer, but won't be for much longer. The CTO was in charge of both platform and mobile development at Facebook. Once he's gone, two of his underlings will take over his two posts, with Mike Vernal taking on platform development and Cory Ondreijka going after mobile.

Taylor is an ex-Google employee, too, leaving the company in 2007 where he founded FriendFeed. Facebook acquired FriendFeed in 2009, and two years later he was donned as CTO of Facebook. Taylor spoke to AllThingsD saying that the time he spent with Facebook "has been among the most fulfilling times of my career".

With the troubled IPO and problems the social networking are having at the moment, one would think this is quite a bad time for Taylor to leave, but his departure is no surprise to Facebook management. Taylor has always said that he "had always been upfront with Mark [Zuckerberg] that I eventually wanted to do another start-up, and we felt now is the best time after the IPO and the launch of some recent things for me to do that".

Continue reading: Facebook CTO leaves, heads for unnamed startup (full post)

MegaUpload saga: FBI ordered to copy all 150TB of Dotcom Data

Trace Hagan | Jun 15, 2012 1:29 PM CDT

In the continuing MegaUpload saga, a US federal judge has ordered that the FBI being copying all 150TB of seized Dotcom data. It's not clear whether or not the information will be handed over now, as requested by Dotcom's lawyers, but it will have to be handed over if Dotcom and the other executives ever stand trial in the US.

Lawyers for the FBI are complaining that they will be unable to copy the 150TB of data in the 21-day time period given by the judge. To give an estimate of size, they had said it took 10 days to copy only 29TB of data. The judge didn't care and said that the Government had "ample means" to do the work. " ... [T]he expense involved in copying must be dwarfed by the other costs of an investigative and prosecutorial operation of this size."

The judge reiterated that if the defendants come to the United States like the prosecutors were trying for, then the copying of data would not have been a waste of time. Justice Winkelmann has ordered another two-day hearing to determine whether or not the data will be released to Dotcom, or his lawyers, while he remains in New Zealand. More as it continues.

Continue reading: MegaUpload saga: FBI ordered to copy all 150TB of Dotcom Data (full post)

AMD licenses ARM technology, comes as no surprise

Trace Hagan | Jun 13, 2012 10:22 AM CDT

It's been expected by many analysts and fanboys alike that AMD would eventually either produce their own ARM-type chip or license one of ARM's creations. Today, AMD has finally done one of those options by licensing the ARM Cortex-A5. The Cortex-A5 will find its way into AMD's APU line of CPUs.

It's not actually the processing functions of the Cortex-A5 that AMD is after, however. This is the unexpected part. Instead, AMD is looking to use the security features that ARM has been working on for some time. Dubbed TrustZone, ARM has produced hardware and software which make data transfers and transactions more secure.

The Cortex-A5 was chosen as it is the smallest of ARM's chips and will take up only a marginal amount of space on one of AMD's APUs. If produced on the 28nm process, it is expected the A5 will add about 10-15mm2 of die size. The A5 will take care of all of the security functions for securing online transactions.

Continue reading: AMD licenses ARM technology, comes as no surprise (full post)

EU watchdog issues warning over smart meter privacy risk

Trace Hagan | Jun 12, 2012 12:28 PM CDT

The world is becoming more and more connected and more and more devices are joining the internet. This fundamental idea is the driving force behind the need to change to IPv6. Now even smart meters are connected to some sort of network through which they transmit usage data back to the power company.

An EU watchdog is concerned about the privacy of the data that is being reported back. Due to the massive amounts of data being reported, it's easy to see when people are home or not by watching the power usage. Not only that, but the meter can even report back what medical devices are in use in the house.

It's of the utmost concern to Privacy International, a group claiming that proposed safeguards do not go far enough. The major fear appears to be regarding the ability to deduce if someone is home or not, but there are plenty more complaints about the sheer amount of data being collected.

Continue reading: EU watchdog issues warning over smart meter privacy risk (full post)

Google co-founders to face US antitrust regulators for questioning

Anthony Garreffa | Jun 10, 2012 10:18 PM CDT

It looks like the lads that co-founded Google are in hot water once again, where they'll have to appear before US antitrust regulators for questioning. Larry Page and Sergey Brin have reportedly retained counsel, and are expected to give depositions before the Federal Trade Commission sometime over the coming months.

What is it all over? Well, the issue boils down to whether or not Google have been unfairly using its position as the world's dominant search engine in a manner biased in favor of its own products, as well as whether Google has increased advertising rates for its competitors.

Google of course maintains that users are free to visit Google's competition, which the search giant says is "only a click away" thanks to the nature of the web.

Continue reading: Google co-founders to face US antitrust regulators for questioning (full post)

RumorTT: Sony to acquire cloud gaming firm Gaikai

Anthony Garreffa | Jun 2, 2012 3:27 AM CDT

MCV is reporting that Sony could acquire high-profile cloud gaming firm, Gaikai. It was revealed to MCV exclusively that Sony were looking at acquiring either Gaikai, or OnLive. Either company would bolster Sony's efforts into the cloud gaming universe.

Just yesterday, Gaikai sent out invitations to journalists for what they're calling a game-changing announcement, it reads:

Gaikai has some major announcements in store for E3 that have the potential to change the future of video games, game consoles and how we play.

Continue reading: RumorTT: Sony to acquire cloud gaming firm Gaikai (full post)

Judge Alsup rules Oracle Java API elements not copyrightable, claims against Google dismissed

Trace Hagan | Jun 1, 2012 10:29 AM CDT

In a move that should help to keep innovation from being stifled, Judge Alsup, the judge presiding over the Oracle v Google trial, has ruled that sequence, structure, and organization (SSO) is not covered by today's copyright law. This, in turn, allowed him to dismiss the claims by Oracle of Google infringing on their copyright.

Instead of creating a massive precedent by making a wide ruling, Judge Alsup focused very narrowly on specific factors in the case which lead to the decision. This way he didn't create a massive precedent. He has also been very careful throughout the trial. So even though appeals are possible, it is likely his decision will be upheld.

From the judge's ruling:

Continue reading: Judge Alsup rules Oracle Java API elements not copyrightable, claims against Google dismissed (full post)

Activision settles lawsuit with Call of Duty creators out of court

Trace Hagan | Jun 1, 2012 8:50 AM CDT

It has been confirmed that Activision and Jason West and Vincent Zampella have settled their lawsuit out of court after a brief meeting on Thursday. This settlement brings to an end the two year lawsuit stemming from the termination of their employment. There was a lot of he said she said, but in the end, it seems to boil down to the fact Activision didn't want to pay them royalties.

The settlement terms, as par for the course, were not discussed and are highly secretive. This settlement also settles another lawsuit Activision was involved with. This other lawsuit was over royalties as well. When West and Zampella left, 40 or more developers left shortly after. They too filed a lawsuit saying they didn't get their royalty checks.

"All parties have reached a settlement in the dispute, the terms of which are strictly confidential," said Robert Schwartz, an attorney representing West and Zampella. West was in the courtroom, but only grinned widely as he left. Others in the game industry watched closely as it could produce some new case law that would affect somehow.

Continue reading: Activision settles lawsuit with Call of Duty creators out of court (full post)

Tim Cook talks of Apple's relationship with Facebook, says "Stay tuned"

Anthony Garreffa | May 31, 2012 12:28 AM CDT

Could those words be any more mysterious? Apple CEO Time Cook when questioned about the lack of Facebook integration on iOS, said "Stay tuned". Considering that Facebook have nearly 1 billion users, and Apple's handshake with Twitter and its integration with iOS, we have to wonder, 'why not Facebook?'

Cook adds "Facebook is a great company, and the relationship is solid. I saw Sheryl (Sandberg) earlier outside. We have great respect for each other."

When Swisher reffered to Jobs calling Facebook "onerous", Cook responded with:

Continue reading: Tim Cook talks of Apple's relationship with Facebook, says "Stay tuned" (full post)