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LightSquared Appoints Doug Smith as New CEO

posted Sunday Aug 26, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

LightSquared Appoints Doug Smith as New CEO

If you thought the LightSquared saga was over, think again. Not even the FCC could shut them down as the company continues to push forward to provide insane 4G speeds to the masses, even to this day. After their top investor, Philip Falcone, stepped down as public face of the company, a lot of speculation arose as to what would happen next to LightSquared. This week, we have some answers.

In what seems to be similar to that of a boxer continuously answering a referee's ten-count, there's a lot of fight left in LightSquared. Even in its current bankrupt state, the company is still moving forward as best it can and this week, promoted Doug Smith to the CEO position of the troubled corporation. Smith's first comments as new CEO were that they would fight through the FCC's regulations and blockade that put LightSquared into bankruptcy protection in the first place.

LightSquared remains committed to working with all stakeholders to find an equitable resolution to the regulatory challenges that the company has faced this past year.

Before being appointed new CEO, Smith was LightSquared's co-COO and one of the designers on the actual 4G network. Smith will also be chairman of the board effective immediately, in addition to his chief executive seat. The company's previous CEO, Sanjiv Ahuja, resigned at the end of February and while was not the public head of the company, tried to lead the fight against the FCC, while trying to keep Falcone in the spotlight at the same time. After the resignation, CFO Marc Montager and smith took over the co-COO roles while looking for a new CEO to step in. Smith had worked at both Clearwire and Sprint before coming to LightSquared.

Can a new CEO, with extensive experience in several wireless companies, be the saving grace for LightSquared? There seems to be a completely uphill battle awaiting the new leader and the future doesn't look too bright. Sprint has already moved on to greener pastures and they were supposed to be LightSquared top client. What will happen now? I suppose the company will have to get out of bankruptcy protection first before anything definitive can be said. I just want faster and faster speeds and it seems like the FCC won't let that be.

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Photographer Adds Some Raspberry Pi to His DSLR

posted Sunday Aug 26, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Photographer Adds Some Raspberry Pi to His DSLR

With the emergence of micro computers rapidly increasing with each passing day, I have some news that makes the pirate's use of these tiny gadgets a thing of the past. More importantly, it's news that with make Online Editorial Director for LAPTOP Magazine, Avram Piltch, admire the cool use of gadgetry. It fills the complete solution of photography, from snapping the photo to editing and uploading.

So far, if you've wanted to work on photos, you'd need a camera to actually capture the shot. Then, you'd need a computer with an active Internet connection to edit and then upload the shot to where ever it needed to go. Wouldn't it be cool if all of that came included, and not in the way Sony tried to do it sans photo-editing capabilities? Well, David Hunt, a photographer in Ireland, has come up with the solution so that all of those functions can be done by creating a battery grip for his DSLR that has a Raspberry Pi embedded in it.

Want to learn more about this cool technology and see the innards? Click the break for more.

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NBCUniversal Joins the Amazon Instant Video Family

posted Saturday Aug 25, 2012 by Scott Ertz

NBCUniversal Joins the Amazon Instant Video Family

Amazon has been beefing up its music service as well as its instant video service. To emphasize that point, they have signed a deal with NBCUniversal to bring a metric ton of new programming to the service.

Right now, Amazon Instant Video offers NBC series like Battlestar Galactica, Friday Night Lights, Heroes, Parenthood and Parks and Recreation. Brad Beale, director of digital video content, said,

We continue to invest heavily in our content selection for Prime members and have now reached over 22,000 movies and TV episodes available instantly with unlimited streaming.

We are excited to be working with NBCUniversal to add their award-winning lineup of TV shows such as Parks and Recreation and Friday Night Lights to Prime Instant Video.

This brings Amazon's catalog to over 22,000 movies and television episodes available for instant stream for a flat rate of $80 per year. That price also gives full Amazon Prime benefits, including free shipping on Amazon purchases. If you are still trying to decide between Netflix and Hulu, this might make the decision even harder.

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Zynga Employees Fleeing Despite Incentives

posted Saturday Aug 25, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Zynga Employees Fleeing Despite Incentives

It would appear that Zynga, even with the attempts to incentivise employees to stay, is having trouble keeping its top talent. As Zynga's stock price has dropped, 70% since December, the confidence of its employees has plummeted. As other opportunities have presented themselves, people have moved on, leaving behind a bit of a shell.

This week, Alan Patmore, director of CityVille, left to go to Kixeye. Before that, Erik Bethke, director of Mafia Wars 2, announced that he had left the company as well. Ya-Bing Chu, a corporate vice president, as well as Jeremy Strauser also left this month. John Schappert, Chief Operating Officer, also resigned effective August 8th, after less than 18 months. That is a lot of top guys all leaving together, including the COO, which does not bode well for the company.

So, what could Zynga do to save itself at this point? Hit the break for some ideas.

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Samsung Ordered to Pay Apple $1.05 Billion in Damages

posted Saturday Aug 25, 2012 by Allante Sparks

Samsung Ordered to Pay Apple $1.05 Billion in Damages

Apple's life just got a little more positive this week when a California District Court jury came to a decision on the Samsung/Apple patent infringement suit. The decision stated that Samsung has knowingly and willfully infringed on 12 Apple patents. The case is significantly more complex than just that, involving subsidiaries and business models. However, when all was said and done, the case really came down to did Samsung steal from Apple and the jury believed they did.

The trial has taken weeks, including the revelations of products and practices that no one had known outside of the two companies. While this can be seen as a win for Apple, it is even more of a win for the rest of the tech industry. Finally the handset manufacturers will be forced to stop copying the least innovative handset design possibly ever and start making phones that are unique. Hopefully Samsung will be able to use it to hold onto its lead over Apple, not fall into the pits of innovation hell.

This also spells a huge win for Microsoft and its upcoming Windows Phone 8. Samsung will be reconsidering its Android partnership, seeing as the interface of the OS is in part what has gotten Samsung in trouble. There are two easy alternatives for Samsung to turn to: Windows Phone 8 or HP's Gram. WinPho8 will be on the market long before Gram, so it would make sense for Samsung to embrace the unique interface.

Clearly Samsung is not happy about the verdict. Hit the break to read statements from both companies, plus some fun pokes from Microsoft.

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HP Changes Its Mind on webOS Again

posted Friday Aug 24, 2012 by Scott Ertz

HP Changes Its Mind on webOS Again

It has been a hard road for Palm's webOS. Since its unveiling in 2009, the first handset became Sprint's top-selling phone ever, until the HTC Evo 4G was released. After entering Verizon and AT&T's line-ups, it looked like webOS might be a big competitor in the smartphone war. After financial problems, Palm joined the HP family, for $1.2 billion, giving hope that HP could help get webOS back on track.

HP intended to install webOS on printers, as well as new handsets and tablets. Shortly after this announcement, rumors started that HP was interested in licensing webOS to other manufacturers. Then, HP CEO Leo Apotheker closed up webOS hardware, and threatened to do the same to all hardware.

After replacing the CEO, the decision was made to open source webOS, but to continue on as a hardware manufacturer. This week, however, the story gets ever weirder. HP Senior Vice President Martin Risau wrote,

We are no longer a consumer hardware brand, we are a different company with a focus on software, user experience, cloud, engineering and partnering.

Along with this conflicting statement comes the announcement about webOS's newest future. Hit the break to find out where webOS is headed next.

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