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Tech giants may have flagrantly violated 2010 agreement with DOJ
At a hearing in San Jose, California federal court on Thursday, US. District Judge Lucy Koh ordered Apple CEO Tim Cook to be deposed by plaintiff attorneys in a case alleging an agreement between Silicon Valley tech giants to not poach each other's employees. The judge believes that internal emails prove that the companies felt the agreement would provide financial benefits to each other, despite the accord being in violation of Federal law.
Exclusive first look should prove a boost for Newsstand
Hearst Publishing, which offers a number of magazines on Apple's App Store and through Newsstand, has given the iPad maker an exclusive on its magazines. The publications will now appear on iTunes "a few days" ahead of any other platform, including print. A new page has been created in Newsstand called "Read Them Here First" to showcase the 20 titles that will debut in iPad versions before appearing elsewhere, including Amazon's Kindle Marketplace. The advance copies are available to current and new subscribers.
Lower price available by virtue of Gore's board position
A US Securities and Exchange Commission filing was made on Thursday, showing that Apple board member and former US Vice President Al Gore purchased 59.000 shares of Apple stock, currently worth over $29.6 million dollars. As a result of his board membership options, Gore paid $7.475 per share, paying $441,000 out of pocket for the shares.
Page questions value of Android suits by Apple
In a new and rare interview with Wired's Steven Levy, Google CEO Larry Page held court on a variety of tasks. On the topic of rival Facebook, Page said that they were "strong" in its market, but also believes that the company is doing " a really bad job on [its] products." He took a moment to take a few shots at Apple, saying that he found the Cupertino business model of doing a few things well "unsatisfying." When asked about Steve Jobs' famous "thermonuclear" comment, he asked "how well is that working?" which dodged the fundamental accusation that Android is a "stolen" operating system.
Fake names stem from old OpenStreetMap info
Just as Apple Maps has regained user trust by correcting many of the major problems with early versions of its maps, an old prank by some Afghan university students is giving the company another black eye over inaccurate street names shown for areas of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. A reliance on outdated data from OpenStreetMap -- a source used by Apple for some areas, and which is editable by users -- seems to be the source of the joke street names.
Report cites challenges of post-PC market, CEO retiring
Intel has reported its quarterly and annual earnings, posting decreases year-over-year in most aspects, but still beating analyst's estimates in some areas. The company states full-year revenue of $53.3 billion, operating income of $14.6 billion, with a net income of $11.0 billion. Intel generated approximately $18.9 billion in cash from operations, paid dividends of $4.4 billion to shareholders, and used $4.8 billion to repurchase 191 million shares of stock.
Cuts 15 percent off pricetags
Apple has added the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro to the refurbished section at its online store. Previously, only 15-inch Retina models were available. The 2.5GHz 13-inch systems come with a 15 percent discount, knocking $260 off the cost of one with a 128GB SSD, and $300 off the price of one with a 256GB SSD. No discount is offered for a 2.9GHz Core i7 model, but all three computers are available to ship in one to three days.
New model allows iOS, Android viewing of security footage
Do-it-yourself security solution provider Swann has unveiled its new 1080p Network Video Recording (NVR) security system -- the Platinum-HD. The Swann NVRs are capable of full HD video image quality far in excess of typical security cameras, with real-time (30 frames per second) live viewing and video playback. At initial release, there are two versions: the four-channel NVR4-7200 with four 1080p NHD-820 cameras, and the eight-channel NVR8-7200) also with four 1080p cameras.
Apple scores minor coup in attracting content
Publisher Wenner Media has brought music and pop cultural magazine Rolling Stone to the Newsstand section at the App Store. The app is iPad-only, and comes with a one-month trial subscription. After that a single issue is $5, a monthly subscription is $2, and an annual subscription is $20; the latter two options renew automatically. Unlike some magazines, there is no way to subscribe to the Rolling Stone app for free if a person already has a print subscription.
New white bundle includes 18-title instant game collection
Sony has launched a new version of the PlayStation 3 in North America, this time in "Classic White." The new console bundle will also have a matching white controller, a 500GB hard drive, the console's largest ever; and a year-long membership to PlayStation Plus, including access to a downloadable collection of PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita games.
iOS app allows for weight recording, other data collection
Accessory manufacturer and designer Withings has announced the availability of its Internet-enabled baby and toddler scale, the Withings Smart Kid Scale. The Smart Kid Scale has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, which allows for the instant transfer of data measured by the scale to be sent directly to the Withings Baby Companion application. The scale and app combo provides parents a simple and accurate way to monitor, understand and share a child's growth using the Internet.
Expansion mostly limited to minor towns
Sprint has expanded its LTE 4G coverage to 28 more towns in the US, according an announcement. The new locations are spread out across Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Missouri, Mississippi, Minnesota, Washington, Pennsylvania, Florida, Arizona, Michigan, Louisiana, Texas, and Massachusetts. Most of them are relatively minor; some notable names include Branson, Missouri, and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Wargame European Escalation on Mac
Wargame European Escalation, a real-time strategy war game, is now officially available for the Mac. Set between 1975 and 1985, the game pits NATO forces against the Warsaw Pact in battles that explore the possibilities of events that could have transpired if open conflict began. The Mac version of the game ships with all of the PC DLC, including the Commander, Conquest, Fatal Error, and new Battlefields expansions. The game is available as a $35 purchase and requires players to have an active Steam account.
Similar hardware to Windows-based ThinkPad counterpart
Lenovo has updated its ThinkPad line with a notebook running Chrome OS aimed at students and educational staff. The ThinkPad X131e Chromebook is effectively the same as the Windows-based version, except that the option for an AMD E-series processor is no longer available, instead replaced by an Intel-based counterpart.
Should cost about 1,099 rand
The Apple TV will go on sale in South Africa this Friday, local Apple distributor Core Group has announced. The set-top should typically cost 1,099 rand, or about $125 US. Pricing may vary through, as resellers like iStore, Digicape, and Makro are allowed to set their prices individually.
Amazon optimizes MP3 web store for iPhone, iPod touch
Amazon has optimized its MP3 web store interface for display on the iPhone and iPod touch. Although shoppers can't download music directly through the site, they can buy tracks which will appear in the Amazon Cloud Player app for streaming or download. Back on a computer, purchases can be automatically imported into iTunes. The iOS version of the site is built on HTML5 and includes usual promotional sections like recommendations and album and song sales.
Puts end to otherwise uninterrupted iPad dominance
The Google Nexus 7 beat the iPad at Japanese retail stores during the holiday season, says research firm BCN. The group surveyed 2,400 electronics stores around the country in December, and found that the Nexus 7 accounted for 44.4 percent of the tablet market, while the iPad took home 40.1 percent. Tablets made by local companies, such as Sony, only accounted for 2 to 3 percent of sales.
European acquisition could offer data-focused contracts
American carrier AT&T is looking towards expanding into Europe, according to insiders. The telecommunications giant may be making a bid to buy a mobile phone network, with the likelihood that the company will upgrade older generations of technology and improve the slow rate of 4G rollouts, as well as moving towards more modern pricing structures of contracts.
Brand closure part of three-year streamlining effort
Taiwan computer manufacturer Acer is discontinuing its eMachines brand. The move, which will see the brand's operations come to a close, forms part of the company's overall move away from budget base models and towards ultrabooks and similar form factors, something CEO JT Wang started in late 2011.
Does the Surface RT warrant your consideration
The Microsoft Surface with Windows RT has been on sale for around three months. Although it landed with considerable fanfare, recent estimates suggest that Microsoft may have only sold around 1 million since the device went on sale. When we reviewed the Surface RT we felt it has some quirks, but overall felt that it was effectively a new class of device with potential and awarded it four stars. Many potential buyers could be holding off for the imminent arrival the Surface with Windows 8 Pro, but the Surface RT still has the same strengths going for it.
Security program manager challenges test results
Security Essentials, the anti-virus and anti-malware software supplied by Microsoft has failed in anti-virus certification tests. Out of 25 consumer antivirus programs tested by independent laboratory AV-Test in late 2012, only three failed to pass muster, with Microsoft Security Essentials 4.1 being joined by PC Tools Internet Security 2012 and AhnLab Internet Security 8.0.
App aids in disasters, notifies contacts, facilitates giving
Microsoft has launched a new app for iOS, Android and Windows Phone called HelpBridge (free) that is meant to be used to communicate, acquire aid or donate to help others in case of disaster. The program uses a "I need help" or "I'm okay" button for disaster victims to use, or lets users connect to relief organizations when they want to help others affected by a disaster. Users can quickly contact pre-selected family and friends or contact emergency services.
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