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02.10.12

Links – Anti-Trust Roundups – Yahoo, Nokia, Barns and Nobel

Posted in Site News at 1:13 am by Guest Editorial Team

Reader’s Picks

  • Hardware

    • Who really benefits from putting high-tech gadgets in classrooms?

      Something sounded familiar last week when I heard U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski make a huge pitch for infusing digital technology into America’s classrooms. … “Books will soon be obsolete in the schools…. Our school system will be completely changed in 10 years.” … The year was 1913, and the speaker, Thomas Edison, was referring to the prospect of replacing book learning with instruction via the moving image.

      It’s funny how every time a new way of delivering moving images is created, people say that moving images will replace textbooks. This editoral shows how Apple is self interested and their push into schools is more of the same. Never the less, cheap tablets and free texts can get information where it needs to be at less cost than paper and those tablets also form an important media and communications platform. iPads should be avoided, because they are expensive, fragile and non free. OLPC should be promoted.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • Anti-Trust, Shake up at what’s left of Yahoo!

    • How the Microsoft search deal is reshaping Yahoo’s business, for better or worse

      The Yahoo chart above, taken from its presentation to investors today, shows how that revenue sharing has impacted the company financially over the past year. Yahoo’s 2011 annual revenue was $4.38 billion, down 5 percent, and Yahoo said today that the decrease was “primarily due to the revenue share related to the Search Agreement with Microsoft.”

    • Yahoo! Releases Chairman’s Update for Shareholders

      following this year’s Annual Meeting a majority of Yahoo!’s directors will be new to the board this year, and all directors will have joined the board since 2010.

    • Alibaba Suspended as Buyback of Yahoo Stake Looms With Loan

      Alibaba.com Ltd. suspended its shares from trading in Hong Kong as the company prepares a statement about a transaction involving its parent, which is raising about $3 billion to buy back stock held by Yahoo! Inc. … Yahoo said Feb. 7 it is “devoting significant resources” to talks that may lead to the sale of its Asian assets, valued at more than $10 billion.

      The article speculates that this is a result of the recent Yahoo management shake up and that Yahoo Japan may also be up for sale. Watch for large portions of this money to find it’s way back to Microsoft and for Yahoo to go the way of Novell.

    • Silver Lake Takes on the Big Fish

      Emboldened by its success earlier this year with the $8.5 billion sale of Skype to Microsoft Corp., the technology-focused firm is hoping to orchestrate a deal to buy all or part of Yahoo, … Silver Lake has held talks with Microsoft, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and other potential partners about a bid for Yahoo, people familiar with the matter said.

      PJ reminds us of background on the Bill Gates/Silver Lake connection. She should have pointed to her own article and other nasties she’s noted in the past, [how they shafted Skype’s directors and employees, Michael Bingle, Managing Director of Silver Lake, is also on the board of Gartner, and here’s a little history on that., and this Silver Lake background] So is Bill Gates aiming to suck up Yahoo’s money and patents?

    • Yahoo’s Patents Are Very Valuable, Jackson Says

      Eric Jackson, founder of Ironfire Capital LLC, talks about the outlook for Yahoo! Inc. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Softbank Corp. are talking with private-equity funds about making a bid for all of Yahoo without the company’s blessing, people with knowledge of the matter said. Jackson speaks with Erik Schatzker on Bloomberg Television’s “InsideTrack.”

      PJ put this into perspective, “The video is from early November, but it is the first I’ve seen that explains the patent aspect of the Yahoo struggle. Once again, we see patents, and the dreams of wealth from its weaponry, doing real damage to an American company.”

    • Anti-Trust, attacks on Android

      • IHS: $199 Kindle Fire costs only $201.70 to make

        This estimate matches a previous one by the company building the $35 Indian tablet. PJ asks, “does that mean that if it were not for Microsoft forcing a patent license deal, if it was similar to the one offered to Barnes & Noble, that Amazon would be making a profit on each unit instead of losing on each one? And what about the limitations? Are they mandated by the license or by having to pay Microsoft so much? Could someone study that, please? Maybe Amazon can pay, but what about smaller firms? Is it not a drag, then, on innovation? On competition?” Amazon is more like controlled opposition than a Microsoft competitor.

      • Lawyers Rebut FOSSpatents’ FRAND

        No matter how often he’s corrected, Florian will continue to spout the same things. FRAND is fraud in the first place and PJ explains the silly game Microsoft is up to now, “Apple and Microsoft would like to *change* FRAND terms to include a waiver of injunctions, which isn’t now part of FRAND requirements. In fact, it’s an equitable remedy. They’d like it to be removed as a defensive move, in order to disarm Android vendors, especially now that Google is buying Motorola. In short, it’s not so much about loving standards all of a sudden as wanting to win by disarming the other side. And then there is the problem that no one can build a smartphone without paying so much for patents they can’t make a profit. This is now hitting Apple and Microsoft too.” See also, Microsoft Shift on Industry-Standard Patents Aimed at Google

      • Nokia Round Up

      • Nokia to Cut 4,000 Jobs at 3 Factories

        The company said the cuts would be made at three Nokia factories – in Komarom, Hungary; Reynosa, Mexico; and Salo, Finland – as it transferred the assembly of smartphones to factories in Asia, which are closer to component makers.

      • Nokia Numbers Show Microsoft’s Mobile Madness

        Nokia said it “sold” 1 million Lumia devices in the quarter (in quotations because there is no easy way to tell how many units actually made it to consumers or are simply idling in channel inventories). That means every Windows Phone 7 device Nokia shipped in Q4 cost Microsoft $250, minus the royalty. That’s for phones, like the Lumia 710, that can be bought for $50 or less with a standard carrier contract.

        The size of Microsoft’s “bribe” to Nokia is questionable because Nokia was forced to throw away their successful gnu/linux phones and their resources are being plundered to advertise Microsoft’s software.

      • Microsoft’s Nokia blood money potentially strangling other Windows Phone OEMs

        Nokia’s low price on the Lumia 900 is likely to harm HTC and Samsung phones in the US. Given the size of Microsoft’s payment to Nokia, it’s simple to wonder if some of that sweet, sweet Redmond cash is being used to keep Nokia’s phones artificially cheap.

        It’s called dumping.

      • Walmart offers the Lumia 710 for free

        Nokia’s goal with the Lumia 710 is to establish it as the smartphone for consumers on a budget.
        Now, Walmart is helping to take that goal to the next level. The discount retailer has begun offering the phone at no cost to those who sign up for a new two-year service agreement with T-Mobile.

        The phone is only free if your time and communications are worth nothing. Windows phones are infamously bad. Because Microsoft has shut down the factories that once made Nokia’s phones and replaced all the software, the Nokia label means nothing.

      • Barnes and Noble Round Up.

      • Some Really Good News for Barnes and Noble; and Microsoft Withdraws Another Patent ~pj

        If I were a FUDster, I’d write that this means Barnes & Noble has prevailed, but I just tell you the truth, which is that this is one step in a longer process. It is, undeniably, however, fabulously good news for Barnes & Noble.

      • Barnes and Noble Backed by U.S. Agency Staff in Microsoft Case

        Barnes & Noble Inc. should win a patent-infringement case brought by Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) that threatens to halt imports of the bookseller’s Nook e-reader, according to staff of the U.S. trade agency hearing the dispute. Jeff Hsu, a staff attorney at the U.S. International Trade Commission, said today in an interview he is recommending that ITC Judge Theodore Essex find there was no violation by Barnes & Noble of three Microsoft patents.

      • The Latest on the Barnes and Noble Patent Misuse Defense – Some AntiFUD ~pj

        I’m seeing a couple of articles about an initial determination by the ITC against Barnes & Noble on its patent misuse defense, and there’s quite a lot of spin on the ball, thanks to the usual suspects. They are reading a lot into a title of a sealed document. I see many misstatements. … the title of the sealed ITC initial determination is called an *initial* determination for a reason.

      • Nokia sells over 450 patents, some of them deemed essential to GSM, to a patent troll

        Sisvel just announced that they’re acquiring 47 patent families from Nokia, giving them more than 450 new patents that they can add to their arsenal. What’s surprising is that 33 of the patent families, which come in at somewhere over 350 patents, are defined by Nokia as essential to 2G, 3G, and 4G technologies….What’s Elop up to?

        PJ adds, ” Ask Barnes & Noble about the Nokia patents sold to MOSAID and what it thinks it means.”

      • Say, what? Seattle MandA expert says Microsoft should buy Barnes and Noble

        It is doubtful Microsoft has the money or that the deal would pass anti-trust scrutiny. Microsoft will continue to screw B&N in court to destroy them and Android and will only be happy if both are ruined.

      • Background: The Bookstore’s Last Stand

        It might come as a surprise, but Mr. Lynch says Barnes & Noble is, in fact, a technology company. … But he is playing [$719 million] David to Mr. Bezos’s Goliath [$88 billion, Microsoft partner]. … A bit of good news for the company is that, thanks to the Nook, it’s been grabbing e-book business from Amazon. Mr. Lynch said Barnes & Noble now held about 27 percent of the market, a number that publishers confirm gleefully

        see also, Barnes and Noble, Destroyer of Indie Bookstores, Is Now Printed Books’ Last Great Champion

    • Privacy

      • US body probes RIM, Nokia, Apple backdoor claims

        A US government body is investigating allegations that mobile device manufacturers Apple, RIM and Nokia allowed Indian military intelligence backdoor access to communications in exchange for Indian market presence….

    • Intellectual Monopolies

      • Jury rules that Eolas’s “interactive web” patent is invalid

        Eolas, a patent troll that has been shaking down technology companies for the better part of a decade, now faces the prospect of losing the patent…. Berners-Lee took to Twitter to cheer the decision. “Texas jury agreed Eolas 906 patent invalid,” he wrote. “Good thing too!” … [and] “We are pleased that the court found the patents invalid, as it affirms our assertion that the claims are without merit,” a Google spokesperson told Ars.

      • Big Brother’s Diet Method Patent, How Far Is Too Far In Encouraging Healthy Eating

        The title of the ’492 patent is “Providing Consumers With Incentives For Healthy Eating Habits,” but when does a system move from merely a personal incentive for which one can opt in to a system that may be imposed by the government or an employer? … “Consumption of healthy food may be monitored, for example, according to food purchases, food discarded, and food indicated by a consumer to have been eaten.” Is someone going to dig through your trash to see what you have eaten?

        They might indeed dig through your trash with rfid enabled garbage trucks, though I’m not sure how they will tell if the item has been eaten. They already know your purchases and that alone will can be abused by health insurance companies. If people cared about healthy food, we’d have better food purity laws. Monitoring will just be another excuse for the rich and powerful to deny medicine to the poor and punish people who threaten them.

      • Patents for Humanity Announced at White House Event

        Against all evidence, the White House pretends patents are beneficial and promotes more of them.

      • Trademarks

        • Shattering pyrex To Show A Massive Weakness In Trademark Law

          Imagine if a counterfeiter were passing off soda lime glass as Pyrex. The outcry would be huge. Government agencies would be busting down doors and arresting people and using it as a reason to pass ACTA. But if Corning and their licensees do it under the Pyrex brand, all we can do is shrug.

          and they did do just that. Watch out for “pyrex” because it’s not “PYREX”.

      • Copyrights

        • Scientists and innovators: You are Elsevier: time to overcome our fears and kill subscription journals

          people joining in the new boycott have no excuses not to follow through. There are plenty of viable OA options and it is simply unacceptable for any scientist who decries Elsevier’s actions and believes that the subscription based model is no longer serving science to send a single additional paper to journals that do not provide full OA to every paper they publish.

          Open Access journal articles are cited more often than those locked behind paywalls now, so self interest if firmly on the side of the boycott.

        • The Sky Is Rising

          For years now, the legacy entertainment industry has been predicting its own demise, claiming that the rise of technology, by enabling easy duplication and sharing — and thus copyright infringement — is destroying their bottom line. If left unchecked, they say, it is not only they that will suffer, but also the content creators, who will be deprived of a means to make a living. And, with artists lacking an incentive to create, no more art will be produced, starving our culture. While it seems obvious to many that this could not possibly be true, since creators and performers of artistic content existed long before the gatekeepers ever did, we’ve looked into the numbers to get an honest picture of the state of things. What we found is that not only is the sky not falling, as some would have us believe, but it appears that we’re living through an incredible period of abundance and opportunity, with more people producing more content and more money being made than ever before.

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