Two of the largest companies in the technology world are preparing for an all-out war that could affect the future of Google, Android and mobile technology as a whole. In August of 2010, Oracle filed suit against Google for intellectual property theft in regards to Android. Well, that case, which has changed in size over the past 2 years, goes to trial on Monday and there is a lot on the line.
Oracle believes that Google, in using certain libraries developed in the Java programming language, owned by Oracle through its $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems Inc. in early 2010, violated its intellectual property. Google, who is a known supporter of the "everyone should be able to use it" mentality believes that it has done nothing wrong and says that the technology used isn't covered by copyright.
U.S. District Judge William Alsup, who will be presiding over the case, described this as "the World Series of IP cases." Why did he say that and how will the case affect the technology world? Hit the break to find out.
It has been a long time since the disaster that was the Google Street View data collection issue. In case you forget, Google's Street View cars, the vehicles that drive around taking photos of everyone's houses and businesses, were found to be using WiFi scanners to connect to hotspots and log their names and locations. Well, it turns out that they were also collecting data off of these networks, both personal and corporate. There was so much outrage over this that even the German government told Google they had crossed a line, which is saying something.
All of this took place 2 years ago now and, because of the lightning speed of the government when they aren't trying to squash a business for doing what they were asked to do or preventing a major merger, the FCC is finally responding to the issue. This week, the FCC ruled on, not the case itself, but on Google's actions during the investigation. According to the FCC, and sheer logic if you know the company, Google deliberately worked to delay or mislead the investigators. Because of this, the FCC has issued a $25,00 fine against the company.
What did the FCC have to say about this and how will it affect Google? Hit the break to find out.
Since the digital camera age, Canon's Mark series has been the aspiration for many photo enthusiasts, from amateurs to professionals. Their newly released 5D Mark III has been on wishlists since they first announced it, and with a pricetag at about $3,500 for the core, it is an investment made with certain expectations. One of those expectations is that you can take pictures with it.
For some 5D owners, however, that is not the case; at least, not under certain circumstances. According to posts all over the Internet, including on Canon's own support site, many users are experiencing a situation where, under low light, some 5D cameras are ruining photos. Some clever users have tracked the issue down to a small gap in the case, allowing light from illuminated upper LCD screens to leak into the body, throwing off the auto-exposure sensors and ruining photos.
How has Canon responded and what is next for users? Hit the break to find out.
Sony announced this week that the company would be cutting 6% of its total workforce, which is around 10,000 jobs, in an effort to bring the numbers in its TV business back into the black over the next two years.
Sony President and newly appointed CEO Kaz Hirai said at a press conference Thursday that he will bring life back into the electronics and entertainment company. Earlier in the week, Sony doubled its projection for its annual net loss for the fiscal year 2012 from $3.2 billion USD to $6.4 billion. If that were to hold true, it would mark the fourth consecutive year of losses for Sony and would be its worst loss in the history of the company.
Hirai remained confident in his effort to reform the company at the press conference.
As CEO, I take this very seriously. But at the same time, it strengthened my resolve to transform Sony. Employees too want to restore Sony to its former glory and go beyond... Sony will change. I've fully dedicated myself to changing Sony.
Internal problems like their several network and security breaches compiled with the environmental disasters in Thailand haven't put Sony in a good position to prosper in 2012. Hirai looks to strengthen the company's digital camera, game and smartphone businesses for the next two years and is trying to boost total company sales to 70% by March 2015 from the current 60%. Sony will also be taking a charge of just over $925 million USD this year to help offset the job cuts and over reform plans.
Can the PlayStation Vita become Sony's saving grace and help push them into the black on top of these restructuing efforts? Will their efforts fall short of the goal to keep them profitable into the next coming year? I said at E3 that the Vita, while potentially stealing the show, might not be enough to do what Sony needs. Perhaps these job cuts will. Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.
California is simply a weird state. As you may have read and heard about that fact several times through our show and on The UpStream, the great state of California has always tried to do things just a little bit different than the rest of us. They've tried to ban violent video games, impose extra restrictions to any game that is not rated Early Childhood and are the reason that products anywhere else in the country say that the state of California recognizes that lead in products might be a bad thing. Combine the crazy state with a company like GameStop and you're bound to eventually get something interesting out of the pair.
That's exactly what happened this week. GameStop stores in California will now be required to post downloadable content (DLC) warnings on used games that make the free item or map pack void upon first use.
AOL announced a couple weeks ago that it would be selling its 800 patent portfolio to the highest bidder. Rumors were flying around that Google might be interested after losing to the Rockstar Consortium with crazy math constants in the Nortel bids. As it turns out, Microsoft swooped in and picked up the portfolio this week at a hefty $1.3 billion price tag.
What's in this portfolio that warrants such a high price and why is this important? The full story is after the break.