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Proview sued by its iPad court case law firm, owes 2.4 million dollars in legal fees

July 23rd, 2012

Proview sued by its iPad court case law firm, owes 2.4 million dollars in legal fees

Guess who’s hasn’t yet gotten its share of Proview’s recently acquired $60 million? Ironically, it’s the lawyers that helped it win the iPad trademark dispute in China. According to Sina Tech, Grandall Law Firm confirmed that its shady client refused to pay up the promised 4 percent of Apple’s settlement fee, which equates to $2.4 million. While acknowledging their contractual arrangement (wherein the law firm covers the legal fees in advance, and then expect the client to pay up after winning the case), Proview founder Yang Rongshan told Sina Tech that Grandall’s behavior is “nonsense,” and that his company isn’t obliged to pay back immediately as it isn’t under normal operation right now. However, Yang promises Proview won’t “pass the buck.” We shall see about that.

SOURCE via Sina Tech (translated)

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Smartphone overtakes PC as primary internet device in China

July 20th, 2012

Smartphone overtakes PC as primary internet device in China

The Chinese government has issued a study revealing that the smartphone has overtaken the PC as the most popular device to surf the internet with. China’s Internet Network Information Center revealed that 538 million people — around 40 percent of the country have internet access. It recorded 388 million instances of surfing from a mobile handset, compared to the 380 recorded from PCs. Microblogs are also popular, with around 43.8 percent of phone users documenting the minutiae of their lives on Weibos like Sina and Tencent — which reminds us, we need to tweet about what we’re having for dinner.

SOURCE via Reuters

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NBC’s 2012 London Olympics second screen and streaming apps for Android and iOS launch today

July 14th, 2012

NBC's 2012 London Olympics second screen and streaming apps for Android and iOS launch today

NBC mentioned it would deliver two complementary mobile apps for its extensive London Olympics coverage and now they have arrived. Available for Android phones and tablets as well as the iPhone and iPad, they’re built on Adobe technology to deliver the information and live streaming video, as well as handle the TV Everywhere authentication with the cable providers that’s necessary to view all of the content. The NBC Olympics Live Companion is specifically designed to operate as a second screen for users to pull up stats and extra info on while they watch TV, and the NBC Olympics Live Extra app delivers video of every event streaming live to users wherever they are. It supports multiple camera angles, social features like the Facebook tie-ins NBC announced yesterday and users can even switch between the two apps at will.

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WSJ: Sinking social news site Digg bought by NYC firm Betaworks

July 14th, 2012

WSJ: Sinking social news site Digg bought by NYC firm Betaworks

Digg, once one of the shining stars of the social media world, is now a sad shell of of its former self. The once mighty news-sharing service founded by Kevin Rose, has just been snatched up by a small New York City firm called Betaworks for a paltry $500,000, according to the Wall Street Journal. The site still draws roughly seven million visitors a month, but that’s a far cry from the more than 30 million was pulling in during its 2008 heyday. And the pocket change paid for the property pales in comparison to the over $45 million it raised from investors over its lifetime. The sale follows the departure of its most high profile exec, the aforementioned Rose, who is now in charge of Google Ventures. Betaworks plans to revitalize the brand involve folding it into News.me, another social news service, which launched in April of last year. The deal only includes the property itself and the brand — none of Digg’s remaining employees will be making the move to Betaworks. Of course, there were very few left once the Washington Post subsidiary Social Code hired 15 engineers from the floundering service, which accounted for more than half of its workforce. However, TechCrunch and AllThingsD are both reporting that there’s a lot more to consider besides the cash outlay.

SOURCE via Wall Street Journal

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Nielsen has Android near 52 percent of US smartphone share in Q2, iPhone ekes out gains

July 14th, 2012

Nielsen has Android near 52 percent of US smartphone share in Q2, iPhone ekes out gains

If there was doubt as to whether or not Android would soon become the majority smartphone platform in the US, that’s just been erased by Nielsen. Google crossed the tipping point in the second quarter after getting close in the winter, with 51.8 percent of current smartphone users running some variant on the green robot’s OS. As we’ve seen in the past, though, the increase is coming mostly at the expenses of platforms already being squeezed to within an inch of their lives, such as the BlackBerry (8.1 percent) and Windows (4.3 percent combined). Apple still isn’t in a position to fret: it kept climbing to 34.3 percent and swung the attention of recent buyers just slightly back in its direction. The real question for many of us might center on what happens in a summer where Samsung has thrown a Galaxy S III-sized curveball at Americans and any new iPhone is likely still a few months away.

SOURCE via Nielsen

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Former Windows Phone Director Robert Williams joins Amazon, stirs rumor pot

July 13th, 2012

Former Windows Phone Director Robert Williams joins Amazon, stirs rumor pot

We’re no CSI, but if we were Amazon, planning to make a phone, we’d definitely want to make sure developers were happy, that we had some weight in the patent world, and had an idea of the end design. With that all sorted, we’d likely hire a senior Director of Business Development from a major competitor — which is exactly what has happened. Robert Williams, formerly of said position at Microsoft Windows Phone is joining his fellow WP alumni, Brandon Watson, over at camp Bezos as Director of the App Store. Of course, this could just be a strategic move on behalf of the company’s Android market, and the Amazon phone is still very much just a rumor, but with more pieces of the puzzle starting to fit, and the book seller’s ability to turn things on their head, we’re far from ruling it out just yet.

SOURCE via The Verge

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IDC and Gartner: PC market flattened out in Q2 while Apple, ASUS and Lenovo remain the stars

July 13th, 2012

IDC and Gartner: PC market flattened out in Q2 while Apple, ASUS and Lenovo remain the stars

Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer might be working overtime to keep Apple at bay, but the PC market that his company largely built is hurting, if you ask researchers at Gartner and IDC. Both estimate that shipments of traditional computers dropped by a tenth of a point in the second quarter of 2012 — not a good sign when Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors and a wave of Ultrabooks were supposed to usher in a PC renaissance.

While the exact numbers vary, the two paint a partly familiar picture of the world stage: HP and Dell are taking a bruising, while ASUS and Lenovo are making huge leaps forward. Depending on who you ask, though, Acer is either kicking Dell down to fourth place or occupying that all too comfortable spot itself. The economy and tablets are once again blamed for making would-be PC upgraders jittery, although this time it may also be the wait for Windows 8 leading some to hold off.

If there’s a point of contention, it’s the US figures. Gartner and IDC alike agree that Acer, Dell and HP all took a drubbing. The two analyst groups are at odds with each other when it comes to everyone else, though. Apple will have gained market share to as much as 12 percent, but either increased or shrank its shipments; it’s Lenovo or Toshiba completing the top five outside of the usual suspects.

Accordingly, take results with a grain of salt until all the PC builders have reported in. Nonetheless, if the groups have the same reasonable level of precision as they’ve had in the past, Microsoft may have to defer its ambitions for a little while longer.

SOURCE via Gartner

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Intel to buy 15 percent of silicon fab equipment maker ASML, wants manufacturing machines made faster

July 13th, 2012

Intel to buy 15 percent of silicon fab equipment maker ASML, wants manufacturing machines made faster

Chipzilla didn’t get its position as the king of semiconductors by twiddling its thumbs, folks. It became a Valley behemoth by delivering us faster and better silicon, and its latest $4.1 billion purchase — a 15 percent stake in silicon manufacturing equipment maker ASML Holding NV — should help keep Intel atop the CPU heap. You see, Intel’s in the process of retooling its chip manufacturing process to use bigger diameter silicon wafers, which’ll make those Ivy Bridge, ValleyView and other future chips cheaper for all of us. Such retooling can take years to implement, which is likely why Intel was willing to plunk down so much cash to ensure nothing futzes with its manufacturing timetable. The company’s investment will presumably give it the clout to get ASML’s crucial lithography equipment on the fast track to completion. Hop to it, fellas, we want our CPUs at bargain-basement prices, and we want them now.

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Sharp settles LCD price fixing dispute with Dell and others for $200 million

July 11th, 2012

Sharp settles LCD price fixing dispute with Dell and others for $200 million

In an LCD panel price fixing tiff that’s been raging on for what seems like time incarnate, Sharp has settled with Dell and two unnamed companies for $198.5 million to make it go away. Japanese panel makers like LG, Samsung and Toshiba are also defendants in the legal dragnet, and numerous fines and settlements totalling more than a billion dollars have already been paid out to the likes of AT&T and the US Department of Justice. This decision comes hot on the heels of an $87 million setback in court for Toshiba — a ruling that may have taken the edge off of Sharp’s defence.

SOURCE via Reuters

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ITU wants to bring smartphone makers to peace talks, hash out patent wars

July 10th, 2012

ITU wants to bring smartphone makers to peace talks, hash out patent wars

The United Nations defines the stereotype of a peace broker, so it’s not that far-fetched to hear that its International Telecommunication Union (ITU) wing is hoping to step in and cool down the rapidly escalating patent world war. The organization plans to convene a Patent Roundtable on October 10th — in neutral Geneva, Switzerland, of course — to have smartphone makers, governments and standards groups try and resolve some of their differences. Those mostly concerned about Apple’s actions won’t be happy with the focus of the sit-down, however. Most of the attention will surround allegations that companies are abusing standards-based patents, which will put the heat largely on a Google-owned Motorola as well as Samsung. Still, there’s hope when the the ITU’s Secretary-General Dr. Hamadoun Touré talks of desiring a “balancing act” between what patent holders want and what customers need. Our real hope is that we don’t have to hear talk of customs delays and product bans for a long while afterwards.

SOURCE via ITU

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