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France Telecom has increased the value of a takeover bid for TeliaSonera to where the two are now in serious talks, according to word from alleged sources of the Wall Street Journal. The French company, which runs the Orange brand worldwide, is said to have increased its offer per share to a level that Sweden-based TeliaSonera is no longer dismissing a takeover offer out of hand, as it did earlier this month. The talks are reported as fragile and could break off at any moment, with France Telecom having set a Monday deadline for itself if no deal is struck by that point.
Helped by the hype of iPhone 2.0 platform and a buzz over the pending iPhone 3G announcement, the iPhone generated huge traffic for internet search engines in April. ComScore, which provides market research for advertisers, says 1.3 million Americans conducted 6.9 million iPhone-related searches in April. The word “iPhone” was the most popular term, with nearly 1.5 million searches, followed by “iPhone 2.0” and “iPhone 3G.” The vast majority of those seaches -- 88.4 percent -- went to Google, Yahoo got about 7 percent, with MSN getting less than 3 percent.
IK Multimedia and Muse Research have joined forces to create what they claim is one of the most powerful music sound modules ever made. The Total WorkStation Rack uses Muse Research’s Receptor hardware plug-in player with IK’s SampleTank 2.5, Sonik Synth 2, Miroslav Philharmonik, SampleMoog and Sampleton virtual instruments. The product also ships with more than 10,000 sample-based sounds from every instrument category.
Creative's ZEN X-Fi player is still in progress and is being more directly targeted at Apple on both the hardware and software sides, says a slew of leaked information obtained by epiZENter. Spotted in an official product shot, the X-Fi changes the look of the original ZEN to an aluminum-and-chrome look believed to be drawing heavily on the visual appeal of the iPhone. According to leaked documents from the company's UK website, the new ZEN will also be Creative's first wireless player and will have a unique nine-point directional pad to take advantage of integrated Wi-Fi: users will have the option of instant messaging on Windows Live or Yahoo Messenger with a phone-style system for typing without either a touchscreen or a full QWERTY keyboard.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.99 ( + 0.29 )
Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k