Tag - Lucasfilm
Gaming peripheral maker Razer announced that it is readying a new sound bar for the living room and desktop. The Razer Leviathan is a 5.1 channel surround sound bar, which the company states can easily fit under a monitor or console setup. The Leviathan features Dolby technology, including Dolby Digital, Pro Logic II and Virtual Speaker. The unit also comes with a dedicated 5.25-inch down-firing subwoofer that Razer says is "tuned to produce distortion-free lower tones."
US District Court Judge Lucy Koh has denied class action status for workers wanting to sue several major technology and film companies over anti-job poaching practices, Reuters reports. The plaintiffs have accused Adobe, Apple, Google, Lucasfilm, Intel, Intuit, and Pixar of conspiring not to poach workers from each other. While such practices might help stabilize corporate environments, they also reduce the need for employers to compete with each other on wages and benefits.
Northern California district court judge Lucy Koh ruled late Thursday that multiple technologies can't dismiss a lawsuit over anti-poaching deals. Adobe, Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit, Lucasfilm, and Pixar will have to face the allegations that they unfairly hurt compensation and job chances by making informal pacts to avoid recruiting each other's staff. Judge Koh's view echoed those of the raw evidence, which confirmed individual deals but didn't show that the industry at large was colluding against recruiting attempts.
Newly publicized evidence in the wake of an agreement to stop no-poaching deals among Silicon Valley technology companies has shown that several firms did ultimately have deals but stopped short of colluding on a larger level. Although short on details of the supposed Apple-Google agreement, an e-mail message from Adobe Senior VP of human resources Theresa Townsley confirmed that Adobe and Apple had an informal rule against hiring each other's staff. At least in 2005, Adobe chief Bruce Chizen and Apple's Steve Jobs had blocked attempts to get each other's staff.
Former Lucasfilm employee Siddharth Hariharan has filed a lawsuit against a long list of tech companies, accusing the group of conspiring to limit compensation for key staff. Joseph Saveri, the attorney representing Hariharan, claims the "no solicitation" agreements, which prohibit companies from poaching employees from competitors, violate antitrust laws. The list of accused companies includes Adobe, Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit, Lucasfilm and Pixar.
Verizon may give the Motorola Droid 2 a surprise special edition when it ships next month, an insider hinted on Tuesday. The phone should ship slightly earlier than expected, on August 12, but will notably come with a Star Wars edition with a white R2-D2 on its back. In giving the tip, the Engadget source didn't say whether it would ship at the same time as the plain model.
TomTom has teamed up with Lucasfilm and VoiceSkins to bring official Star Wars voices to its portable navigation devices. The first available voice will be that of Darth Vader, which has launched on Tuesday and can be downloaded immediately. The voice of C-3PO arrives in June, with Yoda's arriving in July and Han Solo's joining the fray in August.
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Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive, Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl