Amicus curae brief claims verdict will stifle innovation, hurt consumer choice
Silicon Valley powerhouses are giving opinions on the ongoing Apple-versus-Samsung court battles. In an amicus curae filing, Dell, Ebay, Facebook, Google, and HP are asking the US Federal Circuit Court of Appeals that Samsung turning over full profits of some phones found in violation of Apple patents would set a dangerous trend, and threaten the entire industry with waves of patent-infringement lawsuits which would stifle innovation, and limit choices for consumers.
Company reports initial loss will result from merger
Digital money transfer providers PayPal and Xoom have announced a definitive agreement under which PayPal will acquire Xoom for $25 per share in cash or an approximate $890 million enterprise value. The transaction represents a premium of 32 percent over Xoom's three-month volume-weighted average price and was unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies, as well as the Board of eBay, PayPal's parent company (for the time being).
Split expected to occur on July 8
Online auction giant eBay today announced that its board of directors has approved the completion of the previously announced separation of eBay and PayPal into independent publicly traded companies. The separation will occur through a pro rata distribution of all of the stock of eBay's subsidiary PayPal Holdings to eBay stockholders. The stock distribution still awaits necessary regulatory approvals, both in the US and overseas.
Second major specialist to make same leap
Auction site eBay has poached Bora Chung, a woman who until recently worked on global payments technology for Apple's online stores, says SFGate. It's believed that eBay is building up a new payment platform in anticipation of PayPal being spun off into its own firm later this year. Chung has actually worked for PayPal in the past, having once been chief of staff to Dana Stalder (senior VP of global consumer and merchant services) and Dickson Chu (VP of global products and experiences).
Device accidentally sent by Verizon, seller claims
A seller on eBay is auctioning what is claimed to be a functioning, 64GB iPhone 6 prototype. The person says that they were accidentally sent the device when renewing their contract with Verizon. The unit is running test software, rather than iOS 8, and lacks FCC markings or even a model number. Another point of interest is the Lightning port, which is surrounded by a red lip not present on finished iPhones.
Splitting of eBay, PayPal expected to be beneficial to each business
Auction site eBay and payment service PayPal are splitting apart into two separate companies. A plan has been approved by the eBay board of directors to separate the two into independent publicly traded companies by next year, subject to regulatory approval, with each company set to be presided over by two new chief executives.
Costs start at $449
Apple appears to have opened another "factory outlet" storefront on eBay, in this case offering unlocked, refurbished GSM iPhone 5 models, notes AppleInsider. The page is similar to one launched last year that was selling products like refurbished iPads. Each phone is said to be officially inspected and include a one-year warranty, as well as a manual and charger.
Argos, eBay Click and Collect delivery partnership expanded to 650 UK stores
Auction site eBay has expanded last year's trial of its Click & Collect delivery scheme partnership with Argos across the United Kingdom. The scheme, which initially allowed customers to buy from 50 eBay sellers and pick up orders from 150 London-centric Argos stores, is expected to cover 650 stores around the country by the end of the year, with over 65,000 eBay sellers expected to offer the delivery option.
Money could be put towards transportation projects
Both Democrats and Republicans in the US Senate are considering going through with a possible tax "holiday" for repatriated corporate profits, Reuters reports. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has told reporters that the idea "enjoys a good deal of support" among Republicans; a spokesman for another party Senator, Rand Paul, says that Paul has been talking with Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid about legislation.
Ebay initially thought user data was safe, three states launch probe
Three states have launched an investigation into Ebay's security measures after the auction site announced a widespread breach in its system last week. The breach, which occurred in late February into early March, saw the personal data of approximately 145 million Ebay users accessed. Connecticut, Florida and Illinois have joined together to take part in the investigation.
Account names, e-mails, encrypted passwords accessed in eBay breach
Auction site eBay has asked all its registered users to update their passwords, after a database holding account information was compromised. The breach, which took place between late February and early March, was first detected by the company just two weeks ago, with an internal investigation into what was taken resulting in today's announcement.
eBay updates apps for iPhone and iPad, featuring in-store pick-up option
Today, eBay announced updated apps for iPhone and iPad, adding improvements to its buying and selling features. Allowing eBay users to access the online marketplace to buy or sell items, v3.3 for iPhone and iPad features increased app speeds -- and for iPad only, a new in-store pick-up option for local purchases is included. Also available is new Passbook support that enables quick access to key information like store location, directions, hours and order number. For iPhone, the app now includes a personalized feed preview, displaying items based on a user's interests.
Digital Heaven announces release of utility software Disksomnia 4.0
Digital Heaven today announced the release of Disksomnia 4.0, a new version of its utility software that stops hard disks from going to sleep. Its latest version offers an entirely rewritten structure, presented as a menu bar app that works in the background to keep disks awake. Users can now see when Disksomnia is active, and also adjust how frequently disks are kept awake, with options ranging between five and 999 seconds. A new visual countdown is featured, displaying the next "poke" to selected disks. Priced at $10, Disksomnia 4.0 is available for systems running OS X 10.7.3 or later.
eBay, Amazon, HP, Oracle near bottom of major corporations
In terms of datacenters, Apple has scored the top position on a new Greenpeace list of the most environmentally-friendly high-tech businesses. The company is the only one with a 100 percent figure on Greenpeace's "clean energy index," since its datacenters are completely free of any dependence on coal, nuclear power, or natural gas. It also has an "A" score under categories of Energy Transparency, Commitment & Siting Policy, and Deployment & Accuracy. It achieved a B in terms of Energy Efficiency & Mitigation.
Plans still nebulous
Apple is among of a number of US corporations that have agreed to change hiring practices to avoid discriminating against the long-term unemployed, says the New York Times. The pledge comes at the behest of President Obama, who is hosting a meeting of CEOs at the White House later today to promote his efforts. White House officials say that about 300 businesses have agreed to alter hiring policies, including 21 of the 50 biggest American corporations, and 47 out of the top 200.
PayPal tech would be 'white-labeled' to blend into Apple system
PayPal has approached Apple about integrating itself into the latter's rumored payment technology, three payment industry executives claim. The people tell Re/code that PayPal is effectively willing to white-label portions of its payment service if Apple is willing to use them. Some shared components might include fraud detection, backend infrastructure, and actual payment processing.
Etched with unusual test-related markings
A device claimed to be a "very rare original iPhone engineering prototype" has sold for $1,499 on eBay. The unit is physically similar to the first-generation iPhone, but has unusual markings in the back, including "Ver. 1.1.1," and numbers associated with different wireless bands including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GSM 800/900/1800/1900. The unit is also depicted running previously-seen test software for components like sensors and audio hardware; interestingly, a "touch" component is included, even though fingerprint recognition didn't arrive on the iPhone until this year's iPhone 5s.
Genius LuxePad A110 microUSB keyboard enhances Android typing
Accessory manufacturer Genius today has revealed the the LuxePad A110, which provides a convenient way to write quickly and comfortably on most Android tablets. Combined together, a tablet and the LuxePad A110 weigh less than 2 pounds. The A110 includes a stand that lets users position their tablet at an angle that suits them best. Ten specific keys on the MicroUSB keyboard are designed for handling media, Internet and settings options. The LuxePad A110 is currently available in North America for the suggested retail price of $20.
Was responsible for Apple's online sales platforms
eBay has hired on Apple e-commerce head R.J. Pittman as its new chief product officer and senior VP, according to an official statement. The executive will report directly to eBay president Devin Wenig. While at Apple, Pittman was "responsible for worldwide design, product management, and e-commerce innovation," including "growing the iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Mac e-commerce businesses via the web, mobile commerce, and contact center," according to his LinkedIn profile.
Laws would only offer more precision in reporting gov't. requests
Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Yahoo are among the companies that have signed a new Center for Democracy and Technology letter asking the US Congress to pass Rep. Zoe Lofgren's (D-CA) Surveillance Order Reporting Act of 2013, and Sen. Al Franken's (D-MN) Surveillance Transparency Act of 2013. The bills were first introduced in August, and would let companies be more precise about when and how often they receive national security-related requests and hand data over to the government.
Buyout to bolster PayPal capabilities
eBay has agreed to acquire Braintree, a company that specializes in payment systems, for approximately $800 million in cash. The startup will initially operate as a separate division under eBay's PayPal division, which has served as a dominant competitor in the payment-services market.
Service to compete with eBay, Amazon
Google has announced that its same-day shipping program is now available to the general public in much of the Bay Area peninsula, from San Francisco to San Jose. The service, known as Google Shopping Express, had begun as a limited pilot program early this year.
Pilot scheme adds eBay collection points to 150 Argos stores
Auction site eBay is launching a in-store pickup service in the United Kingdom, as well as expanding its eBay Now same-day delivery scheme outside of the United States. A partnership with retailer Argos will allow eBay users to order from 50 merchants and have goods delivered to a store, which in the case of the Click & Collect pilot, consists of 150 Argos branches across the country.
Desire for new color option far outstrips supply; Apple making more
[Updated: seller cancelled transaction] Though MacNN has previously reported on the mania surrounding new gold-colored iPhone 5s -- with units routinely selling for between $900 and $1,500 depending on capacity and unlocked status -- a new record was set on auction site eBay on Monday when a 16GB unlocked GSM gold iPhone 4s sold for a record-shattering $10,100. The buyer was a long-time eBay user with a history of buying cellphone accessories.
While Apple increases orders, crunch on new color could last for weeks
The "gold rush" was a series of events generally considered to have lasted for much of the second half of the 19th century -- until Friday, when Apple officially sold completely out of the gold iPhone 5s model around 10AM ET. Within hours, many of the lucky few that secured a gold iPhone 5s were listing them on eBay and other auction sites. Asking prices have been seen in excess of $2,500, and active interest and bids have appeared as high as $3,850 (for a group of three gold 64GB models). There are currently over 2,000 iPhone 5s eBay auctions in progress.
Gmail gains improved Drive and Google+ integration
Google has updated the official Gmail iOS app with improved Drive and Google+ integration, allowing links to the services to open in their respective apps. For those who would rather these links open in a mobile browser, that can still be set within the app's preferences. Also new to the v2.4 update is a full screen mode for viewing larger image thumbnails. Gmail is a free download in the App Store.
Child buys herself her own sweet 16 birthday present
While many parents let their children play with their smartphone or other mobile device for temporary amusement, a story out of Oregon may make some think twice about the practice. According to reports, a 14-month toddler named Sorella Stoute managed to bid on and win an auction on eBay for a 1962 Austin Healy Sprite, buying the junked vehicle (with the name "FrankenSprite" printed on its door) for $225 using her father's logged-in account with the eBay app. While the parents could have nullified the sale, they ultimately decided to keep the car -- and the father, Paul Stoute, plans on restoring it and presenting to Sorella on her 16th birthday. The parents learned of the purchase through an email from eBay after the auction.
eBay update brings many new features
eBay has released an updated version of its iOS app featuring a redesigned interface with multiple search views, new shopping car functionality, and larger photo views. Unlike previous versions, users can now add multiple items into their shopping cart and pay for all of them simultaneously. The iPad version has also received several new image editing tools, while the iPhone version includes a new account creation tool that can setup a new account by scanning the barcode of a drivers license. Other changes include new "Search By Best Offer" options, feedback filters, and support for uploading multiple photos from a library.
Offered better deals than official refurb outlet
An eBay store that sold refurbished Apple products -- seemingly with Apple's blessing -- at prices equal to or below those of Apple's own refurbished store has been closed, at least temporarily. The store, which sold officially-refurbished Apple products under the seller name "refurbished_outlet" (a long-standing power seller on eBay) now has no products listed after zeroing out all inventory sometime Saturday. The store gained notoriety by selling some items below normal refurb prices, offering a PayPal option, and avoiding taxes in some states.
EBay forecasts $23.5 billion revenues in two years
EBay has a bright outlook on its future, as its most recent sales forecast has topped even Wall Street analysts' estimates. The Internet auction site, which is increasingly positioning itself as a retail outlet, estimates that its total volume of merchandise sold will hit $110 billion by the year 2015. EBay also sees a significant portion of its growth coming from developing markets.
Discounts up to $50 available on iPads, iPods
At its eBay refurb store, Apple is now selling the 13.3-inch MacBook Air for $899 -- $100 less than the price of a similarly refurbished model at the official online Apple store, AppleInsider notes. Other products are also getting unusual deals, such as 32 and 64GB iPod touches, which are going for $179 and $229 -- $30 and $50 off Apple's normal refurb costs. Verizon models of the iPad 2 are listed at $429 for 32GB and $529 for 64GB, in each case $50 less than normal.
Companies can require addresses, phone numbers in California
Apple and other online retailers aren't breaking state law by requiring people to submit their address and phone number when making credit card payments, the California Supreme Court has ruled. The decision at least temporarily ends a proposed class action brought by David Krescent, who charged that Apple should not be able to require the extra information for iTunes purchases. Reuters reports that eBay and Walmart submitted briefs in support of Apple.
PayPal account and eBay user growth accelerating
The last quarter brought significant year-over-year revenue gains for eBay, the online marketplace reported today, with an improvement of 15 percent over the same quarter last year. The third quarter of this year saw eBay pull in $3.40 billion in revenues, up slightly from $3.39 billion for the second quarter, but a significant jump from 2011, when the company pulled in $2.97 billion. The company saw acceleration in the growth of its PayPal accounts and eBay user counts as well, and it raised its full year guidance.
Must-have tech for the savvy jetsetter
If you're a gadget addict and a jet-setter, you probably already know you're living in something of a golden age for both of your big interests. Travel has become cheap and easy; meanwhile mobile technologies have advanced to the point that one can bring a staggering range of gadgets on the road without breaking the bank or breaking one's back lugging them around. Still, there is a wide range of devices out there, and it can be hard to know what to choose for the best travel gadget setup. Electronista has your back, though: and we've tracked down the best gadgets to rig yourself out with for the open road, the train station, the air terminal, and all parts in between.
Partners with retail businesses for San Francisco orders
Auction site eBay is experimenting with same-day delivery through its new mobile app. The eBay Now beta app for iOS now lists the same-day delivery option for $5, though the service is limited to San Francisco and orders in excess of $25. E-mail invitations have been sent out, and beta users will gain both a $15 discount on their first purchase and free delivery on the first three orders.
User's eBay account used same password as lost Yahoo data
A Yahoo Voices user from New Hampshire is suing the search engine for the compromise of his eBay account as a result of a hacker intrusion. Jeff Allan is suing the crowd-sourced question-and-answer service in California court for improper personal information safeguards, and is seeking compensation for himself and other users affected by the loss of over 400,000 users' data, which included emails addresses and unencrypted passwords on July 11.
Internet Association is formed by four web giants to help lobby in Washington
Four giants in the tech and Internet world have banned together to form the Internet Association. It's meant to be a lobbying group that is dedicated to advancing public policy solutions and protect an open, innovative, and free Internet. Heading up the group will be the one-time Deputy Staff Director to the US House Energy and Commerce Committee Michael Beckerman.
Historic predecessor of Commodore PET
A MOS Kim-1 single-board computer, originally released 36 years ago in kit form for $245, recently sold on eBay for $1,550. Following the acquisition of MOS by Commodore International, the historic computer became the basis of the Commodore PET.
eBay app gets redesigned interface, requested features
eBay has released an overhauled iPad app, bringing it to v2.0.0. The app now supports the Retina display on the third-generation iPad, but also has a new interface, for instance featuring a customizable homescreen. Several user-requested features have been added, such as better search, a Back button, and the ability to revise listings.
Plans added services beyond traditional payments
In February, PayPal provided new details on how it planned to roll out its in-store payment services. The subsidiary of eBay plans to demonstrate at the SXSW conference in Austin how it hopes to distinguish its consumer-side digital wallet service from the competition, including Google Wallet and Isis. PayPal hopes to expand its attractiveness by offering more payment flexibility, generating wish lists, and providing greater account control.
eBay offers guaranteed trade-in value
Following the iPad keynote on Wednesday, SquareTrade has announced that it will be offering an $89 Accident Protection Plan for the latest generation iPad. The 2-year iPad service, which provides coverage against iPad drops, spills and general accidents, includes free express shipping to and from SquareTrade's depots, with most repairs taking less than 48 hours. Users also have the choice of taking their device to a local Apple Genius Bar, with SquareTrade reimbursing the repair costs.
Eolas sees web patent lawsuit claim tossed
Eolas' attempt to patent the "interactive web" may have been dealt a permanent blow after a jury in the normally patent lawsuit-friendly town of Tyler, Texas ruled that the patent was invalid. The decision negated both any attempts at claiming damages and also negated three future trials. The rejection came in part after testimony from the spiritual creator of the web, Tim Berners-Lee, as well as individual creators whose work predated that of Eolas owner Michael Doyle.
PayPal mission not fazed by CEO departure
Despite the abrupt leaving of its CEO in January, PayPal is unfazed in its mission to make money off in-store payments, AllThingsD learned. Owned by eBay, the outfit had a number of demonstration set-ups of a grocery store, hardware store, and clothing store. In the San Jose area, PayPal has working registers set up in numerous Home Depot locations as part of a pilot program.
Motorola Woot auction slips Xooms with user info
Motorola has started up a return program after a minor but still significant privacy gaffe during a Woot auction. About 100 of 6,200 refurbished Xoom Wi-Fi tablets sold during auctions between October and December are believed to have still had some private data stored inside. These could have included anything from account logins through to personal files, Motorola said.
HP TouchPad up for sale again for 220 at Woot
Despite being discontinued, HP's TouchPad tablet is up for sale again, at Woot. It's a refurbished 32GB model, priced at $220, or about $70 more than the last refurbished 32GB TouchPads sold on eBay. Shipping is a much more manageable $5 for the new sale, however.
Will beat out Schmidt, other tech leaders
Apple CEO Tim Cook may be about to vastly increase his personal wealth, notes an executive compensation tracking firm, Equilar. Parts of two separate restricted stock unit grants belonging to Cook are vesting in the current quarter. Based on Apple's closing stock price on December 30th, the shares are estimated to be worth about $96.2 million.
Yahoo settles on permanent CEO from eBay division
Yahoo confirmed rumors Wednesday and picked PayPal president Scott Thompson as its new CEO. The nomination of the eBay division head followed months of uncertainty at the company following the firing of Carol Bartz in September. Thompson takes the position January 9.
Modded GameCube available on eBay for $950
A modder who calls himself Slipstream has breathed new life into the 10-year old GameCube home console from Nintendo through a portable hack. He calls his creation the Sly Cube, and it includes a seven-inch LCD flip screen. The integrated 7.2V, 600mAH battery is said to provide between three and four hours of play time.
Apple helped by Black Friday, iTunes shopping
Early holiday shopping helped push Apple past some of the largest stores online for visitors, comScore said Thursday. Apple's website and iTunes combined got over 79.2 million unique visitors in November, large enough to push it past eBay (72.1 million) and even retail giant Walmart (58.5 million). Other major shopping sites it eclipsed included Best Buy (36.5 million) and Sears (31 million).
Google to pay $300m per year in Mozilla deal
When Google and Mozilla renewed their search royalty deal earlier this week, they didn't reveal that Google will pay $300 million per year, AllThingsD learned. For this amount of money, Google will be the default search engine in Mozilla's Firefox browser. The numbers are a sharp increase from the previous arrangement because of the new competition from Yahoo and Microsoft.