Tag Archive: Sony


After a pre-Christmas week full of massive backlash for caving to a vague and unsubstantiated threat by hackers supposedly from North Korea, Sony has reversed course and decided it will allow The Interview to be shown after all – thus all but ending what Senator John McCain absurdly called “the greatest blow to free speech that I’ve seen in my lifetime probably”.

Don’t get me wrong: it’s unequivocally good news that North Korea (or whoever hacked Sony) won’t succeed in invoking a ludicrous heckler’s veto over a satirical movie starring Seth Rogen, but there are far greater threats to our freedom of speech here in the United States. For example, Sony itself. [Read more]

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North Korea said on Saturday that U.S. accusations indicating it was involved in a cyberattack on Sony Pictures were “groundless slander” and warned of “serious consequences” for any possible retaliation against it. But at the same time, the isolated nation offered to prove its innocence by proposing a joint investigation into the incident with Washington—a move that Pyongyang knows the U.S. is not likely to take seriously.

The statement, which was attributed to an unnamed Foreign Ministry spokesperson and carried by North Korea’s official KCNA news agency, is in response to President Obama’s statement on Friday that blamed North Korea for the hacking and the suggestion that the U.S. would retaliate. [Read more]

 

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Motorola’s big move: Hands-on with the Moto X | ars technica

 

Motorola is bringing its Droids to all the networks that aren’t Verizon, but the company is concealing them in a different package. The new Moto X is almost functionally identical to the Droids that were announced last week, down to Motorola’s new X8 “mobile system,” camera app tweaks, and contextual awareness. [Read the full article]

 

With Moto X, Google may make Android, Motorola more approachable | zdnet

 

With the launch of the Moto X, Google’s Motorola unit not only gets a flagship phone but an avenue to retool its image to one that’s more fashionable. Perhaps Android can appeal to a mass market sans the spec-happy, industrial and ridiculously large screens favored Google’s phone partners. [Read the full article]

 

Android 4.2.x on just 6.5 percent of devices, August data reveals | NDTV

 

Android Jellybean (versions 4.1.x and 4.2.x) now comprises 40.5 percent of all Android devices  – at least the ones that meet Google’s criterion – according to the monthly distribution data for the Android OS platform, shared by Google for the month of August. [Read the full article]

 

Improving smartphone sales and a weaker yen help Sony to $35 million quarterly profit | The Verge

 

It may not be quite the windfall profit we’re used to seeing from Apple or Samsung, but Sony has kept its financials on the positive side of the ledger over the last financial quarter — owing primarily to “strong” smartphone sales and a favorable shift in currency exchange rates. In the three months between April and June of this year, Sony saw both a “significant increase in unit sales” of its Android smartphones and an improved average selling price per handset. That’s at the heart of the company’s improved profitability. [Read the full article]

 

Xbox One enters internal beta phase, gets GPU clock speed boost | Engadget

 

Plain old civilians like us can’t buy Xbox One just yet, but some lucky folks who work for Microsoft already have beta units in their homes. Xbox VP Marc Whitten shared that tidbit, among others, with Xbox spokeperson Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb on a recent podcast. Not only do some folks internal to Microsoft have beta kits of final retail units, but many game developers have their hands on final versions of development kits. [Read the full article]

 

Deadline looms for U.S. sales ban on older iPhones, iPads | cnet

 

The clock is ticking ahead of next week’s sales ban on older models of Apple’s iPhone and iPad in the U.S.

 

Come Monday, Apple will be unable to import or sell the iPhones prior to the iPhone 4S made for AT&T’s network, nor the 3G-enabled versions of the iPad 1 and 2 in the U.S. as part of a final decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission in early June. [Read the full article]

 

Dell committee and buyout group close to deal: sources | Reuters

 

(Reuters) – Dell Inc’s special committee and a group led by founder and Chief Executive Michael Dell are nearing a deal that dramatically increases the chances of his $24.6 billion buyout going through, two people familiar with the matter said on Friday. [Read the full article]

 

IBM CIO’s Great Refresh: No, Sales Guy, you can’t JUST use DropBox | The Register

 

CIO interview She might be CIO of IBM, but Jeanette Horan is just like you: replacing Windows XP with Windows 7, ripping out Internet Explorer 6 and floating a growing amount of software on the cloud. [Read the full article]

 

Amazon fires back at IBM over $600M CIA cloud contract with court complaint | zdnet

 

In a bid to prevent the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency from reevaluating its future cloud contracts, which could see it being served to its rival, Amazon has complained to a U.S. court. [Read the full article]

 

US ITC delays ruling on Apple’s allegations of Samsung patent infringement | The Inquirer

 

THE UNITED STATES International Trade Commission (ITC) has delayed its ruling on Apple’s allegations that Samsung infringes its patents. [Read the full article]

 

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A great gaming portable awaiting great games | cnet

The good: The Nvidia Shield has a high-quality build with comfortable responsive buttons, and a sharp and bright touch screen. Expandable storage and HDMI output sweeten the pot. Sound quality through the speakers is excellent, and gaming performance is incredible. [Read the full article]

Google: We can ban servers on Fiber without violating net neutrality | ars technica

Tucked away in Google Fiber’s terms of service is one clause that might annoy some technically included users. “Unless you have a written agreement with Google Fiber permitting you do so, you should not host any type of server using your Google Fiber connection,” Google tells subscribers to its Gigabit Internet service. [Read the full article]

Even Google Reader Replacements Are Shutting Down | gizmodo

When Google Reader finally closed its doors, it shoved thousands of teary-eyed RSS fans into cyberspace, adrift, where we flailed around desperately for a suitable replacement. Many services rose to the challenge, but the incoming wave was a lot to handle. Too much for one of our favorite alternatives—The Old Reader—which is taking a page from Googs and shutting down as well. [Read the full article]

Dell Says SAP’s HANA Has ‘Scalability Issues’ | WSJ

Dell Inc. CIO Andi Karaboutis says it took six months of testing before her team was able to successfully run SAP AG ’s analytic application, HANA, because of the size and complexity of the data being analyzed. [Read the full article]

Microsoft patents futuristic transparent laptop display | NBC News

Your future computer may be able to do more than just detect your gestures and last longer on a charge. Microsoft has filed a patent for transparent display technology for laptops and mobile devices that can actually project holographic images right before your eyes. [Read the full article]

Here are the 7 companies Microsoft doesn’t want its ex-Windows chief to join | gigaOM

Since Steven Sinofsky and Microsoft shocked the PC world by divorcing last year, some details of Sinofsky’s severance have already surfaced. But now we know, thanks to Microsoft’s 10-K filing, just which companies has are off limits to Sinofsky until December 31, 2013, a  year from his termination date. [Read the full article]

Microsoft launches Windows 8.1 preview for enterprises | Venture Beat

Just a month after launching the Windows 8.1 preview for consumers, Microsoft has released the preview of Windows 8.1 Enterprise edition with lots of goodies for businesses. [Read the full article]

Microsoft debuts Office Mobile app for Android smartphones | cnet

Microsoft appears to be spreading the reach of Office on mobile devices. The tech company announced Wednesday that it’s now bringing the Office Mobile app to Android. [Read the full article]

Wii U Sales Are Really, Really Bad | Kotaku

It’s no secret that the Wii U is struggling. However, the extent of which the console is struggling might surprise you. [Read the full article]

Apple’s iPad market share is slumping | Irish Independent

The iconic tablet device has seen its share of global sales fall to 28.3pc compared to 47.2pc a year ago, according to Strategy Analytics. Rival devices — mostly based on Google’s Android operating system — have surged in popularity, based partially on cheaper pricing. [Read the full article]

Apple Genius Bar scalping: Why didn’t we think of that? | CNN

FORTUNE — When Wang Bin’s iPhone 4S developed a glitch, he went online to book a slot at the nearest Apple Store Genius Bar. [Read the full article]

Samsung Smartphones Edge Apple’s iPhones In Customer Satisfaction Survey | Forbes

Look out, Apple. Two smartphones from Samsung have just trumped the iPhone to seize the top spot in a new customer satisfaction survey. [Read the full article]

Samsung’s Other Businesses Help Offset Plateauing Smartphone Momentum | Trefis

Samsung Electronics (PINK:SSNLF) recently announced its Q2 earnings, posting a record quarter of operating profit but raising concerns that its smartphone momentum may be slowing down. The company saw its Q2 operating profits grow by almost 50% over the same period last year while revenues rose 20% y-o-y to 57.5 trillion Won ($51.5 billion). However, a low single-digit sequential growth in profits for Samsung’s mobile division, which accounts for almost two-thirds of the group income, dented market expectations in a quarter that saw the company launch its flagship Galaxy S4 globally. In fact, S4′s launch may have been partly responsible for the weak earnings performance in mobile as Samsung spent heavily in marketing its flagship product and maintaining its smartphone lead. [Read the full article]

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Working conditions at Apple manufacturing partner Pegatron come under fire | 9to5 Mac

 

According to an upcoming report from the China Labor Watch, outlined by the Wall Street Journal, Apple’s China-based manufacturing partner Pegatron has come under fire for worker conditions. The report outlines several claims which shed a negative light on Pegatron: [Read the full article]

 

Sony and Panasonic Sign Basic Agreement to Jointly Develop Standard for Professional-use Next-generation Optical Discs | Hispanic Business

 

Tokyo, July 29, 2013 – (JCN Newswire) – Sony Corporation and Panasonic Corporation today announced that they have signed a basic agreement with the objective of jointly developing a next-generation standard for professional-use optical discs, with the objective of expanding their archive business for long-term digital data storage. Both companies aim to improve their development efficiency based on the technologies held by each respective company, and will target the development of an optical disc with recording capacity of at least 300GB by the end of 2015. Going forward, Sony and Panasonic will continue to hold discussions regarding the specifications and other items relating to the development of this new standard. [Read the full article]

 

Will Google’s bet on Motorola pay off this week? | Chicago Business

 

The Moto X may or may not be the iPhone killer that’s been rumored since December.

 

But the new smartphone being unveiled by Motorola Mobility on Aug. 1 had better generate some much-needed buzz and sales if Google Inc. CEO Larry Page expects to have anything tangible to show for his $12.5 billion purchase of the rapidly fading legend in cellphones. [Read the full article]

 

Google Needs To Stop Screwing Around, And Just Build A Really Good Television (GOOG) | SF Gate

 

A moon shot is a project that tries to take what exists right now and improve it by 10X.

 

This is why Google is doing Google Fiber with 1 gigabit Internet speeds, which is more than 10X faster than a standard Internet connection, with a better customer service experience. [Read the full article]

 

Google exec suggests hardware partners need to improve lackluster Android tablets | zdnet

 

While you might think Google would be pleased with the competitive advantage, that doesn’t appear to be the case, according to recent comments made by Google VP of Android product management Hugo Barra. Barra told The Verge that he is underwhelmed by the tablets that many other manufacturers have released using Google’s Android OS:  “I really do think that the Android ecosystem hasn’t yet put its best foot forward, when it comes to tablets.” [Read the full article]

 

Bank of Apple: What cash hoard means for investors | USA Today

 

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — Apple’s latest quarterly report showed savvy investors two things clearly.

 

The first is that the entity run by CEO Tim Cook essentially has been transformed from Apple, the company, into Apple, the bank. [Read the full article]

 

Michael Dell Rues LBO Vote Method as He Seeks to Salvage Bid (1) | Business Week

 

Michael Dell, in comments that were by turns unbowed and resigned, said he won’t raise his buyout offer for Dell Inc. (DELL:US) and conceded that he had agreed to a method of counting shareholder votes that “does not make sense.”

 

The Dell founder and partner Silver Lake Management LLC last week raised their offer by a dime to $13.75 a share, or $24.6 billion. The increase was contingent on the special committee of the computer maker’s board changing a rule that unvoted shares be tallied as opposing the deal, a provision that has so far thwarted the bidders from winning approval. [Read the full article]

 

Microsoft Surface and Windows 8 make a perfect platform no one wants | Stabley Times

 

Sufrace Pro is such a sophisticated tablet platform that no one wants it, and Windows 8 offers such an advanced interface that no one likes it either, according to the latest feedback from Microsoft fans. Last time we took a look at just where Microsoft has gone wrong of late, and how it can go about fixing its mistakes in the name of getting the tech giant back on track. Two of our primary suggestions: give up on the Surface Pro tablet-desktop hybrid in the name of embracing the straight-ahead tablets that consumers have shown they really want. And give up the ghost of the PC and admit that Windows 8 simply doesn’t matter as mobile devices continue to supplant what’s left of the desktop PC market. Microsoft devotees replied by saying, in short, that we and the public are simply too stupid to appreciate the sophistication that these products offer. In the interest of fairness, we’ll let them speak their mind: [Read the full article]

 

Microsoft promises ‘unlimited free hard drive space’ via Xbox One’s extensive cloud network | VR Zone

 

Microsoft has had a less-than-stellar track record with the Xbox One so far: with somewhat fumbling PR and a host of unpopular features and policies, the Xbox One’s reveal didn’t go over so well in the gaming sphere.

 

Now Microsoft is aiming to change that by pushing a variety of newly announced features and content in order to redeem the console’s overall public image, and their most recent attempts have proven successful. [Read the full article]

 

Windows 8.1 ‘opens the floodgates’ for a huge landscape of device access | Win Beta

 

In an official Windows App Builder blog post, Microsoft showcases one of the “exciting” improvements in Windows 8.1. With Windows 8.1, access to a huge landscape of devices is now possible through the support of several new and innovative device protocol APIs.

 

“One of the most exciting improvements in Windows 8.1 Preview is opening the floodgates for device access. While Windows 8 supported certain device scenarios like print, sensors, and geolocation, access to arbitrary devices was limited to dedicated device apps. This changes dramatically in Windows 8.1 Preview. We support several new and innovative APIs like Point of Sale (POS), 3D printing, and scanning, and—through device protocol APIs–open up access to a huge landscape of other devices,” Microsoft stated in an official blog post. [Read the full article]

 

Samsung emphasizes components as smartphones peak | Bennington Banner

 

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung plans to plow a record pile of cash into its semiconductor and display panel businesses, hoping to reduce reliance on sales of high-end Galaxy smartphones that are poised to peak after two years of blistering growth.

 

Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s largest smartphone maker, reported record profit for a sixth straight quarter on Friday. But the result still disappointed investors who expected Samsung to book even higher earnings after the Galaxy S4, its latest iteration of the flagship smartphone, was launched in April. The handset scored 10 million sales in the month after its launch. [Read the full article]

 

No, Samsung has not dethroned Apple in mobile profits | Mac Daily News

 

“While a report by Strategy Analytics is getting lots of attention, its core implication that Samsung Electronics is now leading Apple in profits is simply not accurate,” Daniel Eran Dilger reports for AppleInsider. [Read the full article]

 

IBM Details Strategy for Software-Defined Environments | eWeek

 

IBM is taking the “software-defined N” concept up another level — possibly even above the idea of software-defined data centers — by centering on OpenStack.

 

Software-defined networking became a commonly used IT buzzword about four years ago, following its origins at Stanford University around 2005. The concept of software-defined storage — which at this point is more of a marketing term than anything else — has been picking up momentum for about the last year or so. [Read the full article]

 

Amazon battles IBM for soul of future IT; the week in cloud | gigaom

 

The continuing cloud spat between Amazon Web Services and IBM over which gets to build a secure cloud for the CIA is worth way more than the $600 million contract itself.

 

The fight, which continued last week when AWS contested an IBM challenge to its winning bid, signals what many see as a changing of the guard from old-line legacy IT providers (IBM, HP, Microsoft, insert-your-favorite-legacy-player here) and newer, ostensibly leaner purveyors built from the ground up for cloud. That’s why I found it incredibly interesting that IBM’s WebSphere group is using Netflix AWS-oriented tools for some of its sample applications. [Read the full article]

 

Lenovo on international security blacklist | CRN

 

Lenovo, the world’s number one PC maker, is on a security blacklist in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and US prohibiting the use of its devices on secret and top secret networks operated by security agencies.

 

The blacklist came to light in an investigation by the Australian Financial Review over the weekend. [Read the full article]

 

Intel Is Playing Catch-Up On The Graphics Front | Seeking Alpha

 

Recently an article was published on Seeking Alpha regarding Intel’s (INTC) attempt to create a coup regarding discrete graphics, among other things. The following statement was made: [Read the full article]

 

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Sony’s PS4: The Fundamental Potential | Seeking Alpha

 

There has been a lot of hype about Sony’s (SNE) PlayStation 4 (PS4) and the subsequent controversy of Microsoft’s (MSFT) Xbox One. Many believe that Sony has won this generation’s console war, and component cost estimates say that the PS4 may not be sold at a loss (unlike Sony’s previous consoles). Based on 2014 revenue estimates and past performance of Sony during a console release, the PS4 may return Sony’s Game segment to the glory days of the PlayStation 2.

For simplicity, all dollar amounts are converted from yen to dollars at a current exchange rate of 99.45¥/$. [Read the full article]

 

Apple claims Motorola discriminated on tech licensing, charged 12 times going rate | Apple Insider

 

In a new filing lodged with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit this week, Apple claims Google’s Motorola demanded unreasonable rates for tech based on deemed standard essential patents, with fees 12 times higher than what Motorola charged other companies.

The CAFC filing, an opening brief from Apple regarding the dismissal of a FRAND-related action from Wisconsin, is one of the first developments in the case likely to be heard by the court in early 2014, reports FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller. [Read the full article]

 

The week in Tech: 5 must-know things | USA Today

 

This week in Tech we took a look at small hands-free smartphones, huge TVs and everything in between. Here’s what you need to know about the week in Tech: [Read the full article]

 

How Google just quietly made your Android phone more secure | Computer World

 

By now, you’ve probably heard all about the changes introduced with Google’s Android 4.3 release. But those fresh features and bits of polish are only part of the story. One of Google’s biggest changes to the Android platform is actually happening outside of the operating system — and it’s affecting almost every Android device in the world.

It’s the widespread launch of a universal app-scanning system — a system that watches your device for any new application, even one loaded directly onto the device (“sideloaded”) from outside of the Google Play Store, and instantly checks the app for malicious or potentially harmful code. [Read the full article]

 

Google floods market with hardware | USA Today

 

In what was likely an accident, Best Buy revealed the specs and images of the new Nexus 7 tablet early Wednesday morning, only hours before Google’s own announcement about the device. The tablet was made available for pre-order but was later not available for purchase and instead labeled “Coming Soon.” By then, tech sites all over the Web were saturated with details about the new tablet: It would have a 7-inch screen with the capacity for input from 10 fingers at a time and a crystal clear resolution of 1,920 by 1,200 pixels; a 5-megapixel camera; a long-lasting (9-hour) battery; an incredibly thin 8.65 mm body, and a starting price of $229 for the 16 GB model. That’s $30 more than the price of the last Nexus tablet, but still a whole $100 less than Apple’s comparable iPad Mini. In fact, the new Nexus 7 will have a higher screen resolution and weigh less than the iPad Mini. [Read the full article]

 

Bad News For Reader Privacy: Google News Doesn’t Index HTTPS Sites | Electronic Frontier Foundation

 

In the ongoing effort to encrypt the entire web, news sites are an area of special importance. After all, the articles you choose to read can say a lot about you: how close you’re following a political race, for example, can indicate where you stand on sensitive issues, or give clues about personal connections to the people or organizations being covered.

While a few news sites offer their content over secure HTTPS (e.g., partial support by the New York Times), far too many do not, much less by default. Our own Deeplinks blog is an exception. Readers can browse through our site without leaving a trail of which pages they viewed that can be easily picked up and stored by other people on the same wireless network or the reader’s ISP—which could then be compelled to hand over that information to law enforcement or intelligence agencies like the NSA. [Read the full article]

 

Apple iPhone profits and share slide again as Samsung sales rise | Computer World

 

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) needs new iPhones, fast, say analysts. Its competition is squeezing from both sides. Although the smartphone market continues to grow, Apple isn’t seeing the benefit: A rising tide doesn’t seem to be floating Cupertino’s boat.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers cut through the boring numbers. [Read the full article]

 

Dell’s thumb-size PC, Project Ophelia, ships to testers | PC World

 

Dell has started shipping its thumb-size PC called Project Ophelia to beta testers and is preparing to ship the final product in the coming months.

Ophelia looks much like a USB stick and it can turn any screen or display with an HDMI port into a PC, gaming machine, or streaming media player. The thumb PC runs on the Android OS and once it is plugged into an HDMI port, users can run applications, play games, watch streaming movies or access files stored in the cloud. [Read the full article]

 

The Future of Dell: Two Offers, Two Paths | Newsfactor

 

Two options lay ahead for computer maker Dell. Founder Michael Dell’s offer with Silver Lake Partners would take the company private. Dell is hoping to evolve the company into a more diversified seller of tech services, business software and high-end computers. Carl Icahn and Southeastern Asset want to reward shareholders with some cash now.

Dell Inc. delayed Wednesday’s vote on founder Michael Dell’s plan to take the computer maker private. The postponement came after Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners sweetened their earlier $24.4 billion bid by about $150 million, or 10 cents per share. [Read the full article]

 

Microsoft gives Fresh Paint a fresh coat of… | PC World

 

When Microsoft released Fresh Paint with Windows 8, the app was justifiably lauded as one of the best experiences on the new OS. On Thursday, Microsoft updated the app with a new palette—but just for Windows 8.1.

Specifically, the new Fresh Paint includes watercolor paints, a new set of pencils, new high-end brushes and more realistic “art supplies” for your digital art studio, Microsoft said. If you have a PC, notebook or tablet with Windows 8.1, you can visit the Microsoft Store and download the updated app. Paintings that users create can be shared, saved on SkyDrive, texted to friend, pinned on the Windows Start screen, or used as a background image. [Read the full article]

 

Will Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Xbox One be No.1? | GDP Insider

 

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Sony have their consoles drawn and will do absolutely all they can to top the 2013 sequel of the video-game console battle. Microsoft went soft after all the criticism and opposition it faced over its pricing and restrictions on the Xbox One, made some changes and appeased Xbox fans. The early missteps have hopefully left not more than a dent on the company. [Read the full article]

 

Ballmer Admits What We All Knew: Microsoft Built Far Too Many Surfaces | Tech Crunch

 

At an internal meeting, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer admitted that the company overproduced the Surface RT tablet, leading to its recent $150 per unit price cut. As quoted by The Verge’s Tom Warren, Ballmer plainly explained that the company “built a few more devices than [it] could sell.”

But we already knew that. [Read the full article]

 

Counting down to the Windows 8 retirement party | Computer Dealer News

 

Microsoft Corp. will officially end support for the Windows XP operating system on April 8th, 2014, and the vendor has released the infographic below with its top eight reasons for upgrading to Windows 8. [Read the full article]

 

Samsung Leads Smartphone Market | Information Week

 

Samsung Friday reported record profits of $7 billion for the second quarter, up from $4.66 billion during the year-ago period and up from $6.4 billion during the first quarter. Samsung said much of its profit was generated from sales of its Galaxy smartphones.

Together, cellphones and telecommunications gear accounted for the two-thirds of Samsung’s profits, though margins on its mobile gear business dropped a bit due to increased expenses. Samsung has spent a small fortune advertising its smartphones and tablets. Memory chips, processors and displays made up about 31% of Samsung’s profits for the quarter. [Read the full article]

 

Samsung lacks, but doesn’t necessarily need, fanboys | zdnet

 

It may have one of the industry’s largest marketing budgets, but Samsung still lacks something Apple has–a legion of fans who will buy every new product the company launches, unfailingly.

Former Apple CEO John Sculley believes this is what sets the two smartphone rivals apart. The sprightly 74-year-old, who owns a myriad of devices including Galaxy Note, BlackBerry Q10, and of course iPhone, was in Singapore this week to speak at the ITMA CIO Executive Summit and offered some personal insights on the intense competition in the smartphone market. [Read the full article]

 

A Full Breakdown Of How Samsung Is Whupping Apple In China | Business Insider

 

GUANGZHOU, China/SEOUL (Reuters) – Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook believes that “over the arc of time”China is a huge opportunity for his pathbreaking company.

But time looks to be on the side of rival Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, which has been around far longer and penetrated much deeper into the world’s most populous country. [Read the full article]

 

Saying IBM has ‘learned its lesson,’ judge OKs $10M bribery settlement | Wral Tech Wire

 

Washington — IBM’s two-year-old settlement of accusations of bribery in China and Korea won federal court approval even as the company faces new scrutiny for possible payoffs in other countries.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in Washington yesterday signed off on the $10 million agreement between IBM (NYSE: IBM) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission initially submitted in March 2011. Leon refused to approve the deal until the company agreed to file reports to him and the regulator on its possible wrongdoing. [Read the full article]

 

How an IBM developer uses privacy policy | IT World Canada

 

Ontario privacy commissioner Ann Cavoukian has a well-deserved international reputation for encouraging organizations and software developers to build personal data protection into everything they do.

Called Privacy By Design, the approach has been called “an essential component of fundamental privacy protection” by a group of international privacy commissioners and is being adopted by many. [Read the full article]

 

Google is evidently working on real-time mobile translation tech | Tech Radar

 

Google has its sights set on the future with projects like Google Fiber and Google Glass, and now it’s adding real time voice-to-voice translation to that list as well.

Google’s Vice President of Android Hugo Barra said this week that Google is now in the early stages of creating real-time translation software that it hopes to perfect within the next “several years,” according to The UK Times. [Read the full article]

 

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Xbox One Vs. PS4: Why Sony Is Still The Best Choice For Gamers | Forbes

 

Microsoft has backtracked on almost every issue that upset consumers since the company revealed the Xbox One earlier this year.

 

Gone is the noxious online DRM. Gone are the strange, new used game policies. [Read the full article]

 

Sony Rating Increased to Outperform at Zacks (SNE) | Daily Political

 

Zacks upgraded shares of Sony (NYSE:SNE) from a neutral rating to an outperform rating in a report released on Tuesday, ARN reports. Zacks currently has $24.20 price objective on the stock.

 

Zacks has also modified their ratings on a number of other consumer goods stocks in the few days. The firm downgraded shares of ValueVision Media from an outperform rating to a neutral rating. Their analysts now have a $6.60 price target on that stock. Also, Zacks upgraded shares of Rocky Brands from a neutral rating to an outperform rating. Zacks now has a $17.90 price target on that stock. Finally, Zacks upgraded shares of EXFO from an underperform rating to a neutral rating. Zacks now has a $5.00 price target on that stock. [Read the full article]

 

Motorola Solutions lowers forecast | IT Web

 

Motorola Solutions, known for its walkie-talkies, cut its 2013 sales forecast for the second time in three months and said business customers continued to delay purchases.

 

Shares of the company, which depends on government spending for most of its revenue, fell as much as 10% on the New York Stock Exchange in heavy trading on Wednesday. Motorola spun off its cellphone arm into Motorola Mobility in January 2011 and renamed itself Motorola Solutions. Motorola Mobility was later sold to Google. [Read the full article]

 

Google Tests Wearable Computer | Voice of America

 

The Internet giant Google is testing its newest gadget, Google Glass, which the company describes as a wearable computer that may revolutionize how we interact with each other and with the world.

 

Most of the Google Glass technology is already incorporated in smart phones.  But Google researchers thought of using it in an unprecedented way. [Read the full article]

 

Google, Yahoo, Microsoft told to label ads better in search results | Contra Costa Times

 

SAN FRANCISCO – U.S. regulators warned leading Internet firms including Google (GOOG) to better identify paid ads in search results, particularly as new technology such as mobile services and voice-based online services become more common.

 

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday it had sent letters to 24 Internet search companies, including giants Google, Microsoft and Yahoo (YHOO), updating its guidance on advertising practices. [Read the full article]

 

How New Google Nexus 7 Compares With Rivals | ABC News

 

Google Inc. has announced new versions of its Nexus 7 tablet computers. It has better features and a higher price tag.

 

The new models are available in the U.S. starting Tuesday through Google’s online Play store and the following retailers: Best Buy, GameStop, Walmart, Staples, Office Max, Office Depot, Amazon, Home Shopping Network, Radio Shack, J&R and B&H Photo. A version with 4G LTE cellular capability is coming later. [Read the full article]

 

Apple becoming a follower, not a leader | CNN

 

(CNN) — While we’ll never know for sure what he would have done differently, the hallmark of Steve Jobs’ genius was that he reacted to changes in the marketplace by forging entirely new territory through powerful design and radical innovation.

 

Apple spent a decade far out in front of the competition through Jobs’ almost uncanny combination of vision and showmanship. During that time, buying a new Apple device was always exciting and surprising (even if it was occasionally frustrating). [Read the full article]

 

This is how Apple will reinvent TV while Google plays catch-up | Computer World

 

Apple has a figured out how to play a part in the reinvention of television, and here’s how it’s about to do it. Meanwhile, Google’s attempt to emulate Apple TV with Chromecast underlines the weakness in that firm’s television strategy so far.

 

Apple has spent years touring content and cable firms to find common ground from which to make moves on television. These attempts have been undermined by industry dependence on advertising revenue. Few have been willing to sacrifice slices of the ads business. [Read the full article]

 

What Are Apple’s ‘Amazing’ New Products? | New York Times

 

On Tuesday, Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive, again teased tech blogs about new Apple gadgetry.

 

“We are laser-focused and working hard on some amazing new products that we will introduce in the fall and across 2014,” Mr. Cook said at the company’s earnings call. [Read the full article]

 

Dell boosts offer to buy the company | The Reporter

 

NEW YORK (AP) — A group led by Dell’s founder raised its offer for the struggling computer maker Wednesday in hopes of attracting more shareholder support for its plan to take the company private.

 

The 10-cent per share increase came just hours before Dell’s shareholders were scheduled to vote on the previous $13.65 per share offer from Michael Dell and investment firm Silver Lake Partners. [Read the full article]

 

Microsoft rolls out developer preview of IE11 on Windows 7 | zdnet

 

At Microsoft’s Build conference, the IE team confirmed that Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) — the latest version of Microsoft’s IE browser that is baked into Windows 8.1 — also will be available for Windows 7. About a month later, on July 25, the IE team made available a developer preview of IE11 for Windows 7, which includes a number of new F12 developer tools. [Read the full article]

 

Another Xbox One 180: Microsoft will allow indie games to be self-published | Extreme Tech

 

Microsoft has reversed course on another one of the differences between itself and Sony — and possibly laid the groundwork for a major policy shift in the future as well. Up until today, Microsoft had repeatedly stated that independent game developers wouldn’t be welcome on Xbox One unless they had a publisher; in other words, they couldn’t self-publish. That’s in stark contrast to Sony, which has promised to support indie gaming and game developers. [Read the full article]

 

Samsung Adds Enhanced Mobile Graphics Performance Capabilities to New Exynos 5 Octa Processor | Hispanic Business

 

Samsung Electronics Co., a company focused on semiconductor solutions, introduced the latest addition to the Exynos product family with top level of graphic performance driven by a six-core ARM Mali-T628 GPU processor.

 

In a release, the company noted that with mobile use case scenarios becoming increasingly complex, Samsung’s newest eight- core ARM Cortex-based application processor gives designers an energy efficient tool to build multifaceted user interface capabilities directly into the system architecture. Samsung will demonstrate the new Exynos 5 family at SIGGRAPH 2013 in the ARM booth, #357; Exhibit Hall C at the Anaheim Convention Center. [Read the full article]

 

Samsung extends lead in global mobile phone market | cnet

 

Samsung accounts for nearly 28 percent of all handsets shipped worldwide in the second quarter of 2013, followed by fading Nokia and surging Apple and LG, according to new market data.

 

Samsung expanded its lead in the global mobile phone market during the second quarter of 2013, accounting for nearly 28 percent of all mobile phones shipped, according to new data released Thursday. [Read the full article]

 

IBM’s Digital Experience Software Supports Mobile, Social, Video & Analytics Capabilities | CMS Wire

 

With IBM’s Smarter Cities and Smarter Commerce initiatives gathering steam by the month, Big Blue has just announced the release of new software called Digital Experience software that aims to give enterprises, and in particular marketing departments, insight into how customers are behaving in specific channels. [Read the full article]

 

Windows 8 proves the decline of the west | Campden FB

 

In his very funny 1979 essay Ferrari Refutes The Decline Of The West the American writer PJ O’Rourke describes taking a road trip across America in a Ferrari 308 GTS. Sample line: we went “so fast we filled the appointment logs of optometrists’ offices in 30 cities just from people getting their eyes checked for seeing streaks because they watched us go by”. You get the picture. The man likes putting his foot down in shiny, red, Italian sportscars. [Read the full article]

 

Windows 8.1 on the horizon | Lahaina News

 

For all you frustrated Windows 8 users, I have some good news. Microsoft finally admitted that they blew it developing Windows 8 with all those square blocks and 25 mouse moves that nobody understands. They announced a new operating system called Windows 8.1 that’s supposed to look and operate like Windows XP and Windows 7. [Read the full article]

 

Why Advertisers Are Warming to Facebook | WSJ

 

Facebook Inc. is winning more friends on Madison Avenue.

 

The social-media giant’s better-than-expected second-quarter results, driven in part by a big increase in mobile advertising revenue, signaled that after a rough start, the company has made marketers feel more comfortable with spending money on the social network. [Read the full article]

 

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English: A Sony PlayStation 3 DualShock 3 wire...

English: A Sony PlayStation 3 DualShock 3 wireless controller. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

We had a number of noteworthy revelations at this year’s recently concluded E3 convention, and the two biggest of them all, of course, were the detailed unveiling of Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One. However, with that out of the way, we can now focus on the GamesCom happening in August, alongside the upcoming San Diego Comic-Con.

While there’s still a bit of time left for both cons, there’s always time to conjure up our own beliefs for the future from the industry. While we are not getting into any sort of vague speculations, it is actually not so hard to think that Sony will let go of the pedestal that will be offered via these events to discuss something more about the upcoming PS4 console. Our best bet is the revelation of a favorable release date for the console. [Read the full article]

 

 

The office tower in Marina Del Rey which is ho...

The office tower in Marina Del Rey which is home to the University of Southern California’s Information Sciences Institute (occupies several floors) and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) (occupies part of one floor). Photographed on April 21, 2007 by user Coolcaesar. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Google and Microsoft Fight in Court, Friends in Congress | Businessweek

 

Even as they battle in courts over smartphone and video technology, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT:US) and Google Inc. (GOOG:US) have discovered a common foe: patent owners who try to sue their customers or go after an entire industry.

Both companies are seeking to curb the litigation practices of firms that buy patents with the sole purpose of demanding royalties from as many end-users as they can, even if it means suing a pizza parlor or non-profit. Anger has united a cross section of retailers, finance companies, public-transit operators and hotels, and even caught the attention of President Barack Obama, who last month announced corrective measures. [Read the full article]

 

 

Bill Gates on education, patents, Microsoft Bob, and disease | cnet

 

Bill Gates is accustomed to binary thinking. He spent decades turning ones and zeroes into Microsoft software used by billions of people. While he is still chairman of board, he has devoted the majority of his time to the Gates Foundation since 2008, seeking solutions to some of the most vexing problems in the world. He still thinks in binary form, looking at the troubled world through the lens of rich and poor countries, working with the rich to improve the lives of the poor.

Speaking at Microsoft’s Faculty Summit on Monday, Gates took questions from an audience of researchers about the work of his foundation and other topics. Following are some of nuggets from the event and the full video. [Read the full article]

 

 

Take it easy on those price cuts, Microsoft. You’re starting to look desperate | Digital Trends

 

Microsoft isn’t immune to misfortune, or a failed product (see: Zune). The company’s been in the news a lot lately as it launched a big update to Windows 8 at its annual Build conference a few weeks ago. But it hasn’t just been Windows 8.1 talk we’ve been hearing; a slew of news has popped up – all revolving around the promotional sales and price cuts on some of Microsoft’s Windows 8 products.

With this week’s news of Microsoft paying resellers a bonus fee to sell Windows 8 products and a $150 price cut on the Surface RT tablet, it’s beginning to look like Microsoft’s getting desperate. But, looks can be deceiving. Is Microsoft sinking, or is it just treading water until it comes out on top? [Read the full article]

 

 

Motorola X smartphone: Key features revealed | IT Pro

 

Details of the Motorola X smartphone have been leaked in a promotional video from Canadian network provider Rogers Wireless.

The YouTube video details three key software features of the Motorola X and also confirms the release date. The original video and has since been made private. However, it has been mirrored on a number of channels and is still available to view below. [Read the full article]

 

 

Google’s chances to obtain dotless ‘http://search’ domain shrink| Computerworld

 

IDG News Service – Google’s chances of obtaining the “http://search” domain name are shrinking after several committees affiliated with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) recently warned that dotless domain names could be harmful to the Internet.

Over the weekend, the Internet Engineering Task Force’s (IETF) issued the latest advisory about dotless domains, saying, among other things, that application protocols may have trouble processing them. Earlier in the week, the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) issued its own warning about dotless domain names. [Read the full article]

 

 

IBM, Accenture at war over health payroll bungle | Syndey Morning Herald

 

The two IT firms at the centre of the health payroll inquiry have taken to public submissions to continue their battle against each other.

Accenture and IBM have each tendered last ditch submissions to Commissioner Richard Chesterman who is finalising his report into the bungled Queensland Health payroll system, which left thousands of workers overpaid, underpaid or not paid at all when it was rolled out in March 2010. [Read the full article]

 

 

Samsung’s Ativ Book 9 Lite: A budget 13-inch Windows 8 touch-screen laptop (hands-on) | cnet

 

The most interesting part is the custom CPU, which Samsung simply calls its Quad Core Processor. It’s actually a white-label version of AMD’s latest quad-core CPU, as detailed here, which launched in May 2013. These chips include AMD’s excellent Radeon integrated graphics as well.

While this move seems to be a budget-motivated one, the Book 9 Lite’s $799 price puts it in the same ballpark as several laptops with similar RAM, SSD, and touch-screen specs, but with Intel’s mainstream Core i5 CPU. Some of those, including systems from Toshiba and Acer, aren’t quite as thin or upscale-looking as the Book 9 Lite, but they’re close. [Read the full article]

 

 

Samsung Tops Rankings in 2013 J.D. Power High–Definition Television Satisfaction Report | Herald Online

 

RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J. — Samsung Electronics America Inc., a market leader and award-recognized innovator in consumer electronics, received an industry-leading customer satisfaction ranking in the annual J.D. Power 2013 High-Definition Television (HDTV) Satisfaction Report. The study, which split its segment distinction in terms of size, recognized Samsung as the highest in customer satisfaction with HDTVs 50 inches and above. The accolades highlight Samsung’s long-standing global TV leadership reputation, an industry position it has held globally for more than seven years. [Read the full article]

 

 

Dell Buyout Battle: Icahn Attacks Board’s Scare Tactics–And ‘Abysmal Record’ | Forbes

 

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, with his trademark brashness, this morning worked to debunk objections to his leveraged recapitalization proposal for Dell , the latest volley by Icahn against the PC maker’s board. [Read the full article]

 

 

Dell vs. Icahn: Ethics, Humanity and Patriotism Matter | Tech News World

 

Patriots would view the destruction of a major U.S. company as anti-American, and to them, weakening the U.S. technology industry would be tantamount to treason. They’d have to hate the U.S. a great deal to be willing to pass up a sure-thing offer from Michael Dell that would protect the company, in favor of a gamble with Icahn that would certainly destroy it. [Read the full article]

 

 

Samsung Semiconductor Breaks New Ground for Semiconductor Manufacturing Facility | xBit

 

Samsung Semiconductor, the world’s third largest contract maker of chips, has kicked off construction of its new facility in San Jose, California. The new fab will be used for manufacturing of leading-edge chips as well as for research and development of new semiconductor manufacturing technologies.

“Although we have had a really great 30 years in Silicon Valley here, it is not enough. I truly believe this new campus will provide the world’s best convenience and comfort for our employees. In two years, I would like to invite all of you here when we finish the buildings,” said Charlie Bae, the president of Samsung Semiconductor Inc. (SSI), reports Silicon Valley Business Journal. [Read the full article]

 

 

Apple Investigates China iPhone Death Allegations | WSJ

 

Apple Inc. said Monday that it is investigating a case in which the family of a 23-year-old woman alleges that she was electrocuted by her iPhone.

Though details about the case remain sketchy, it has caught the imagination of social media users in China, who have been spreading word about the case and warning not to use devices while they are charging. [Read the full article]

 

 

Apple-Samsung phone battle to hit appeals court in August | PCWorld

 

A court’s decision not to prevent multiple Samsung handsets from being sold in the U.S. despite their being found to infringe Apple patents will go before an appeal’s court in early August.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., said Monday it will hear 15 minutes of oral arguments in the case from Samsung and Apple attorneys on August 9. [Read the full article]

 

 

Apple And Antitrust: More Proof That The Federal Government Is Anti-Consumer | Forbes

 

Last week, Federal District Judge Denise Cote ruled that Apple Inc. was guilty of collusion and of fixing the price of e-books.

The gist of the case is this: At the time Apple entered the e-book market, Amazon held a 90% share of the market and sold e-books for $9.99. After Apple entered the e-book market, Amazon’s market share fell, as did prices of e-books. If you are perplexed in trying to understand how Apple fell afoul of the antitrust brigades for lowering prices to consumers, the key point to grasp is that the federal government is not the friend and defender of the consumer, as popular mythology would have it. The Apple case is not an aberration. Uncle Sam has been a chronic thorn in the consumer’s side, intervening to raise consumer prices in a variety of ways. [Read the full article]

 

 

Netflix Should Read Amazon’s Script | WSJ

 

It turns out ’13 has been lucky for Netflix. The stock has surged 178% so far, the best performance in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index.

But to keep the odds in its favor, the video-streaming and DVD-rental company will need to be more like an Amazon.com than an HBO. [Read the full article]

 

 

Jay-Z App, Amazon Extension Slammed On Privacy | InformationWeek

 

Surveillance warning: Jay-Z’s new Android app, and a Chrome browser extension built by Amazon, have separately been accused of collecting extreme amounts of information on the people who install and use them.

On the Jay-Z front, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a privacy rights group, Friday demanded that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigate Samsung, which published a mobile app prior to the release of Jay-Z’s new album “Magna Carta … Holy Grail.” [Read the full article]

 

 

Free trade wars: Sony’s FTA edge turns LG, Samsung, Videocon into pout potatoes | The Economic Times

 

KOLKATA: Consumer electronics majors LG, Samsung and Videocon have ganged up to put pressure on the government to stop ace rival Sony from importing flat-panel television sets from Thailand and Asean countries under free trade agreements arguing such imports do not fulfill ‘nil’ or concessional duty norms.

LG, Samsung and Videocon, under the aegis of apex industry body Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA), have written and made representation to the ministries of commerce, finance, communications and IT, saying Japanese companies like Sony and Toshiba do not fulfill the value addition norms specified under the free trade agreements (FTAs) and yet enjoy nil or concessional duty, creating an uncompetitive business environment for domestic manufacturers. [Read the full article]

 

 

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Think of a leading phone maker. Apple and Samsung might come to mind — maybe even HTC. But you’re probably not thinking Sony, a company better known for its TVs, cameras and video-game machines.

With the new Xperia Z, Sony shows it can play in the smartphone big leagues. [Read full article]

 

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