Sale of Alababa Group shares generate $6.3 billion, mobile now material
Yahoo released its third quarter financial results for 2014, stating that it pulled in approximately $1.15 billion in revenue to beat estimates. Analysts estimated that Yahoo would produce $1.04 billion in revenue with an earnings per share of $0.30. While the revenue is good news for the company, it's due in large part to the $6.3 billion net of tax the company generated from the sale of shares of the Alibaba Group.
Judge dismisses appeal over High Court ruling, assets won't be made public
In the legal battle between Kim Dotcom and Hollywood movie studios, a judge dismissed an appeal that could have saved the Megaupload founder from detailing his current financial assets. The dismissal upholds a July decision, forcing Dotcom to turn over an affidavit for his worldwide assets to the Hollywood studios suing him for copyright infringement in a civil suit.
Social media changes mark first official move away from Nokia banner to Microsoft Lumia
Microsoft is making the shift away from the Nokia brand name official, as it's confirmed that the company is shifting to Microsoft Lumia for future devices. The change in names was first brought up back in September as part of an alleged leak of an internal document that dropped the Nokia name along with mentions of Windows Phone from devices.
Demand may have pushed up schedule
A loyalty program for Apple Pay may be ready to go in time for the holidays, says Bank Innovation. Some retail sources had previously suggested this was unlikely, in part because of doubt about the prospects of a large shift in customer behavior happening right before the holiday season. Real-world market demand may be pushing up the timetable for a loyalty offering, however.
Unknown number of victims, data taken from PA, NY, NJ
Office supply store Staples appears to be the latest victim of a breach of customer payment information. The company issued a brief statement saying that they were looking into the matter, after several banks reported fraudulent activity with a pattern pointing to the source being Staples stores in the US northeast.
Odin System-on-Chip may appear in LG G3 variant this week
LG may be getting close to launching its first smartphone using its own application processor, a rumor claims. The device, allegedly being prepared for its unveiling as early as this week, will apparently use the "Odin" System-on-Chip, a move which could bring LG in line with long-time competitor Samsung in developing and using its own processors on devices.
Continued growth in wireless boosting dropping wired profits
Verizon today reported double-digit year-over-year percentage growth in reported and adjusted earnings per share for the 10th time in the past 11 quarters. Verizon reported $0.89 in earnings per share in third-quarter 2014, compared with $0.78 per share in third-quarter 2013. Total revenues for the company were $21.8 billion in third-quarter 2014, up 7 percent year over year.
Cook announces new trip to Beijing for worker meeting that will be posted online
As is his habit, Apple CEO Tim Cook on Monday released a company-wide memo to employees recapping much of the sales and growth data from the analyst conference call given earlier that afternoon. He referred to the expectation-beating results as "Apple's highest September quarter revenue ever, and our strongest growth rate in seven quarters," adding that this was made possible "by your hard work and dedication." He also noted the big jump in Mac sales, beating industry averages significantly.
Deal allows IBM to focus on research, GlobalFoundries to produce IBM server chips
IBM is getting out of the chip manufacturing, with the company transferring the bulk of its semiconductor business to GlobalFoundries. However, rather than IBM getting a large cash influx from selling the chip division, the company is paying GlobalFoundries $1.5 billion over three years in cash and capital to take the commercial semiconductor business.
Emerging markets, price cuts, back to school seen as key factors
In what CEO Tim Cook called the "best ever" quarter for the Mac, Apple's Mac lineup overall jumped a remarkable 25 percent in a single quarter to 5.52 million units. Making the event more noteworthy is the fact that the growth was achieved prior to any notable refreshes. Instead, what appears to be driving the increase in Mac sales is volume in emerging markets, such as China - where Macs were up 54 percent year-over-year. Price cuts and great back-to-school sales also contributed to the jump.
No mandatory recall taking place as long as small adjustments made by company
Fitbit offered a statement last week on the findings of an investigation into the Force fitness wristband. The company decided to voluntarily pull the device from store shelves in February 2014, as it was thought to be causing rashes on the wrists of users. CEO James Park took to the company's webpage to give an update on the independent testing and other findings from medical experts, confirming what was believed in the preliminary tests in February.
Initiative adds EMV support to government channels, more identity theft protections, reporting
Last week US President Barack Obama signed an executive order that will help consumers that a victims of identity theft, as well as speed up the adoption of the Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) chip standard for credit and debit cards. In the executive order signed by the president, parts of the federal government will be adopting EMV measures, as well as strengthening the public's ability to monitor financial health or seek help when necessary.
Online abuse proposals quadruple current maximum prison sentences
The government of the United Kingdom is attempting to increase the possible penalties for online harassment, following recent high-profile reports of "trolling" in the country. The proposals, an amendment to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill undergoing the latter stages of parliamentary debate, potentially allows for people convicted for trolling to face prison sentences of up to two years, up from the current six-month maximum.
Company claims discount could attract more subscribers
In preparation for relaunching Beats Music next year, Apple is currently pushing record labels to allow lowering monthly subscription fees from $10 to $5, sources say. The company's marketing pitch is allegedly that even Apple's best iTunes customers typically spend about $60 per year, or $5 per month. As such anyone switching from downloads to streaming would generate an equal amount of revenue, and more importantly the potential subscriber pool would increase thanks to more affordable fees.
Many Apple partners missing compatible terminals
The lion's share of early Apple Pay transactions will probably be in-app, rather than ones made at retail stores, admits Apple's senior VP of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue. Over the weekend Cue spoke with the Wall Street Journal about the service, which launches today. In fact many of Apple's merchant partners have yet to receive point-of-sale terminals compatible with Apple Pay, but the company is expecting them to upgrade within the next year.
Zwipe, MasterCard team up to combine fingerprint authentication, contactless payments
At a press event last week, MasterCard and Zwipe announced a new type of payment card dubbed the Zwipe MasterCard. Where the new card is different from the the standard credit or debit card is in the payment process, looking to biometrics to approve purchases. The Zwipe MasterCard uses authentication via fingerprint for MasterCard contactless payment terminals, while retaining Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) chips on cards.
Device working its way through DC bureaucracy, return expected 'very rapidly'
Google has temporarily suspended sales of its recently-announced Nexus Player. After a few hours of preorders had been taken, the company abruptly ceased sales of the device, noting that since the device had not yet been approved by the US Federal Communications Commission, that it is not available.
Rewards and other perks will remain the same as if physical card had been used
Financial services and credit card issuer American Express has posted a new web page on its site, extolling the benefits of Apple Pay and instructing users on how to add their cards to the Passbook-based payment system. The mobile payment system is designed for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (now expanded to include the latest iPads for online or in-app purchases only) and will be formally rolled out on Monday, alongside the release of iOS 8.1.
Alleged internal changes could lead to Google operating systems merging into one platform
A change in management at Google suggests the search company is still planning to combine Android and Chrome OS, a report suggests. The Wall Street Journal claims Linus Upson, the head engineer of Chrome OS, has left the role and has been replaced by Hiroshi Lockheimer, the vice president of engineering for Android.
Could hit local area hard
GT Advanced plans to lay off 727 workers at its sapphire plant in Mesa, Arizona, according to a mandatory Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification issued to the Mesa City Council. Affected people are said to include 524 in production, 108 in technical jobs, 70 in management, and 25 in administration. The move comes as GT is planning to "wind down" the Mesa plant, and despite Apple's promise that it would try to preserve jobs.
Claims decision contradicts statutes, Supreme Court precedent
Patent holding firm VirnetX has filed a motion with the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, requesting a rehearing of a September decision tossing a $368.2 million verdict against Apple, and asking it to reinstate a District Court's damages award in full. In a press release, VirnetX says the decision was "contrary to the patent statute and Supreme Court precedent." It also asserts that it should receive damage payments on the basis that the District Court properly construed the claim term "secure communication link."
Acquisition of TwitPic notification premature, shutdown rescheduled
Twitter image hosting site TwitPic has failed in its efforts to be acquired, and will be shutting down after all. Discussions over the last-minute acquisition failed, with the company announcing on its blog that it will wind up operations and take the service entirely offline on October 25th, one month after its original closure date, giving users just over a week to back up images stored on TwitPic servers.
Worcester, MA city council advises city manager not to allow Comcast transfer
A city council has declared it does not want Comcast to provide service to its residents. The council of Worcester, MA has voted against the transfer of the city's cable license from Charter to Comcast over the cable giant's "substandard consumer service practices," as well as believing it lacks the management experience to maintain the service for the region.
Net revenues positive for the first time in 2014, reduced workforce will save $9M
AMD missed analyst estimates for the third quarter of 2014 according to the results released by the company on Thursday. Thomson Reuters had estimated that the computer processor and graphics card manufacturer would see $0.04 earnings per share on $1.47 billion in revenue for the quarter. Posted financial results show that AMD saw only $1.43 billion in revenue and $0.02 earnings per share.
Final services of Palm's webOS shutting down, devices will continue to work
Remaining cloud services for webOS are coming to an end, more than three years after HP announced that it was winding down the operating system. Back in August 2011, Hewlett-Packard (HP) said it would no longer be developing products that featured the operating system, prior to it being offloaded to LG Electronics in 2013.
Continued growth in overseas ad markets driving Google growth
Google today reported consolidated revenues of $16.52 billion for the quarter that ended September 30, an increase of 20 percent compared to the third quarter of 2013. In the third quarter of 2014, total acquisition costs totaled $3.35 billion, or 23 percent of advertising revenues. Cost-per-click continues to decline, but continued growth, especially in non-US markets, has far more than offset this price decrease.
Supplier says it won't appeal decision
Sapphire supplier GT Advanced Technologies has today had its stock removed from NASDAQ listings, and is not planning to appeal the decision, according to an announcement by the former. NASDAQ based the decision on GT declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this month. That event caused GT's stock to drop over 90 percent, and it has since slipped even further, last closing at 44 cents yesterday. Shares can still be bought under the GTATQ symbol on the OTC Pink marketplace.
Employees in process of being trained; systems will also support Softcard, Google Wallet
An internal memo at bakery cafe chain and Apple Pay launch partner Panera Bread has confirmed that Apple intends to launch the e-payment system on October 20, and that training is underway throughout the chain, which plans a massive promotional campaign to let customers know it can accept mobile payments using Apple Pay or other NFC-based e-wallet systems. A one-minute video and a FAQ sheet are among the training materials front-line Panera employees will need to get up-to-speed on the new system.
Other carriers' upgrade paths to Android Lollipop unclear
Alongside three hardware announcements, Google has formally named Android 5.0. Previously known as "L," the latest iteration of the search engine giant's mobile operating system is officially titled Lollipop. Previewed at Google I/O earlier this year, the newest revision focuses on its consistent design language that it calls "Material Design," and a new battery saver feature that extends the life of mobile devices in use by up to 90 minutes.
Streaming version of HBO will be offered outside of current pay-TV packages
HBO will be starting up a stand-alone streaming service in the United States, the CEO has confirmed. Starting from next year, the broadcaster will be offering subscriptions to stream its content to customers with broadband Internet connections, without it being bundled alongside other channels as part of a more expensive pay-TV package.
Latest threat fourth to Sarkeesian, cancels over security concerns
Anita Sarkeesian, the creator behind the Feminist Frequency videos on YouTube, was forced to cancel a speech at Utah State University (USU) on October 15 after the institution received several threats regarding her attendance. The biggest threat the university received claimed that "the deadliest school shooting in American history" would take place if she was allowed to speak at the Taggart Student Center.
Google Glass update adds smartwatch-style notifications
Google Glass will soon have the ability to show notifications from a smartphone on the heads-up display, a feature common to smartwatches. Notifications Sync on Glass will show all notifications from the connected Android smartphone, not just those which offer Glass functionality, with the software update expected to roll out to users of the MyGlass app this week.
Revenue up 8 percent over the previous year, mobile division records $1B loss
The rebound of the PC market is benefiting Intel, according to its third quarter results for this fiscal year. In the quarterly report, Intel says that it hit $14.6 billion in revenue for the quarter, an increase of $1.1 billion year-over-year. For the first time in a quarter, Intel shipped over a 100 million microprocessors - a new record for the company. However, not all of the financial news is good, as the mobile and communications group realized a loss of more than $1 billion in the same period.
In light of judge's rejection, plaintiffs now believe agreed-upon settlement too low
In a strange turn of events, the plaintiffs in a lawsuit accusing many of Silicon Valley's top tech companies of suppressing wages by engaging in a "gentlemen's agreement" not to poach employees from each other have now said that Judge Lucy Koh, who is hearing the case, should formally reject a previously agreed-to settlement offer. Following Judge Koh's initial rejection of the $324.5 million settlement -- signed off on by the representatives of the plaintiffs and the companies involved -- the plaintiffs have now agreed with the judge that the sum is a bit too low.
Third payment from Apple was delayed two months
GT Advanced may have had problems producing sapphire for Apple as far back as February, the Wall Street Journal notes. Apple's decision to withhold a final payment is believed to be responsible for GT's recent bankruptcy, but securities filings indicate that a third payment -- $103 million -- was owed in February and not delivered until April. The last $139 million was actually due that month, but by August GT was saying it only expected the money in October. Journal sources repeat the view that the last tranche was withheld because GT failed to meet contract requirements.
Troubled brand suffers new blow
The Macworld/iWorld expo is being put "on hiatus," and will not take place in 2015, according to organizer IDG World Expo. The 2014 event was held in March. IDG hasn't offered an explanation for the decision, nor has it suggested how, when, or even if the expo will return. It does say that MacIT, its Apple-themed enterprise event, will still take place next year and have details announced "in the coming weeks."
Name change for same-day delivery service, new payment options offered
Google is expanding the reach of its same-day delivery service into more areas, as well as making a change to its name. Formerly known as Google Shopping Express, the new Google Express will open out from its existing San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, and Los Angeles operations, to cover people located in Chicago, Boston, and Washington, D.C.
International plans come with data, tiered voice as alternative to monthly Global plans
AT&T has launched a new option for travelers wanting to take their smartphones, tablets, or laptops with them abroad. A new set of tiered, one-time charge packages called AT&T Passport can now be added to an existing account, allowing customers to use their devices in over 150 different countries. The plans are designed to work in addition to domestic plans, while offering fixed rates and small data caps for international travel.
Paper, mobile phone industries in Finland damaged by iPhone, iPad, leader claims
Apple may be partially responsible for the economic troubles of two major industries in Finland, the country's Prime Minister has claimed. Alexander Stubb suggests Apple's products have impacted its mobile device and paper industries to such a level that it caused an economic downturn, and also caused the Nordic country to endure a sovereign debt rating downgrade.
Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile decline to entertain a new bid after first bid rejected
The latest company to put in bid for the fourth-largest carrier in the United States decided to end its pursuit today. French telecommunications company Iliad announced that it is dropping its bid for T-Mobile after it arranged for a second bid to be presented. Iliad is ending its attempts to buy a majority share of the T-Mobile after board members of both companies "refused to entertain its new offer."
Texas court abused discretion, single California case heard for less confusion, resource savings
Google's battle with the Rockstar Consortium is getting closer to a trial, as the matter of the venue for the case has finally been settled. While several cases were ongoing in California and Texas, judges gave different opinions on where the court battle should take place. Google asked the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to weigh in, a risky move that ended up working in its favor.
GT asks for more contract details to be made public
Filings in GT Advanced's ongoing bankruptcy proceedings reveal that the sapphire supplier's contract with Apple included a $50 million penalty for leaking any of the latter's product information, according to the Financial Times. As it prepares for a Wednesday court hearing, GT is asking for more details of the Apple contract to be revealed, which it claims are important to creditors and shareholders. It adds that "Apple has treated the confidentiality agreement itself as 'confidential.'"
BPCE, Twitter preparing to launch money transfers via tweets
Twitter users in France will soon be able to send money to other users by tweeting, according to a report. Groupe BPCE, the second-largest bank in France based on customer numbers, will apparently start providing simple person-to-person transfers of funds within the country, with the sender able to pass funds along to other people without knowing any of the recipient's bank information.
Passenger attention lost to devices during safety briefing, claim Association of Flight Attendants
Flight attendants are challenging a decision made by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) last year, over the use of electronic devices by passengers at all stages of flight. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA has sued the FAA over the matter, claiming the change makes flights inherently more dangerous because passengers may not fully understand the safety announcements.
Administration has made it clear to FCC that rules don't create tiered Internet
During a question-and-answer session at Cross Campus in Santa Monica last week, US President Barack Obama reaffirmed his stance on net neutrality, which he has held since first running for office. Holding that the concept of an open Internet is important to innovation, the President said that he expects that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will not end up creating a tiered Internet.
Kmart offering identity theft protection, credit monitoring
Sears-owned retailer Kmart has declared that it has suffered a massive data breach. The company said late Friday that a malware attack that began harvesting data from it its point-of-sale computer systems in early September was "new form of malware" and "similar to a computer virus." Few details have been released by Kmart, but the company warns that it could include every shopper between September 1 and Thursday, October 9. Online shoppers were not impacted by the breach.
One week prior to official roll-out, China carriers seeing US-like levels of demand
Official pre-orders for the iPhone 6 finally went live in China early Friday morning, with more than a million orders being taken in the first six hours of availability. The new pre-orders would be different from the more than nine million "reservations" taken by other carriers and resellers, meaning that opening weekend sales -- which are scheduled to open in China on October 17 -- could easily surpass the combined first-weekend sales of the nine countries the iPhone 6 line debuted to in September.
Could theoretically bring Bose products back to Apple Stores
Bose has settled its lawsuit against Apple-owned Beats Electronics, filed in July over patents connected to noise cancellation technology, says Bloomberg. The companies have submitted joint filings to a Delaware court, and asked the US International Trade Commission to halt an investigation. Had Bose's original demands been met, imports of Beats' Studio and Studio Wireless headphones would've been blocked. The terms of the settlement are unknown.
Sapphire supplier asks court to void contracts, allow 'wind-down'
Filings submitted today by sapphire supplier GT Advanced call for the court to nullify its contracts with Apple. "As discussed in detail in the Supplemental First Day Declaration, the agreements imposed oppressive and burdensome terms and obligations on GTAT," the company writes in one motion. "The contracts and leases...provide no benefit to GTAT's estates, and GTAT's continued performance under the Agreements is no longer a viable business option. GTAT has determined that the Agreements are no longer necessary for GTAT's business operations. The Agreements also are not a source of potential value for GTAT's future operations, creditors, or interest holders and constitute an unnecessary drain on GTAT's resources."
Three studios allegedly in discussions with Amazon over joining UltraViolet
UltraViolet, the online digital locker which provides downloadable copies of movies sold on DVD and Blu-ray, may get some extra support in the future. The Wall Street Journal claims the existing roster of companies offering UltraViolet services could soon be joined by Amazon, as it attempts to fight off competition from Apple's iTunes Store and other services.