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LightSquared's Falcone May Step Down to Save Company

posted Thursday May 3, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

LightSquared's Falcone May Step Down to Save Company

The FCC's suspension of the waiver granted to LightSquared to deploy their own, privately funded 4G LTE Advanced network has led to an interesting turn of events in the tech world. LightSquared has since responded to the FCC, claiming the FCC has violates LightSquared's rights. Because of the suspension, Sprint had to look elsewhere for their 4G LTE network and has dumped truckloads of cash into Clearwire, who might have been their next option, only for the company to lose money in Q1 and Sprint had decided to build their own network anyway. Like I said, an interesting time it has been.

Now, Philip Falcone, CEO of LightSquared's top investor, Harbinger Capital, may end up resigning as the public head of the company.

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Nintendo Posts Annual Loss for the First Time Ever

posted Sunday Apr 29, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Nintendo Posts Annual Loss for the First Time Ever

With the launch of the upcoming Wii U, Nintendo is hoping that this will help them recover from a couple of bad months of lackluster sales and 3DS price drops. However, bad news is still looming for Nintendo as they move into the E3 that will either make or break the company.

This week, for the first time in the history of Nintendo, they posted a net loss of $533 million. Wii sales haven't been very high as of late and has also caused them to post an operating loss of $460 million. This is very disheartening to learn about, as this is the same company that brought us the coveted Mario and Zelda franchises that we all know and love.

Has Nintendo seen its hey-day finally fade into the 8-bit darkness from which it emerged?

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Microsoft to Launch New Streaming Service Under Xbox Branding

posted Sunday Apr 29, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Microsoft to Launch New Streaming Service Under Xbox Branding

Would you like a way to stream your music across any device you may have, whether it be Windows 8, Android or iOS? Would it be even better if I told you Microsoft may have something in the works? If you thought this might be something we'd see in the next few years, you will be pleasantly surprised with the news coming out of the Microsoft camp this week.

Microsoft is reported to be showcasing a new music platform at E3 next month in LA. Taking on the codename of "Woodstock," we are told that the service will take on the Xbox branding, much like the Zune rebranding we saw a few months ago. The great thing is that the publication The Verge has been told that the service will be able to stream across devices that are running on Windows 8, iOS or even Android and we will see the new music service heavily involved with Facebook and won't need any plug-ins to work.

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FTC Ramping Up for Google Antitrust Case

posted Sunday Apr 29, 2012 by Scott Ertz

FTC Ramping Up for Google Antitrust Case

The Federal Trade Commission has been building an antitrust case against Google for almost a year now. While Google has remained confident that they have done nothing wrong, decisions like stealing data from competitors, especially those who are unwilling to sell, have given the FTC enough confidence to continue. This week, that confidence encouraged them to hire outside counsel to help them with the upcoming case.

The FTC has only hired outside help twice in the last decade, so that suggests that this case is on its way and will be quite the project. This will not be easy for Google, as they have other major legal battles underway, including the big Oracle case, whose details will surely be used as evidence in the upcoming antitrust case.

For some background on the case and what insiders are saying, hit the break.

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Clearwire Posts Q1 Loss, Beats Expectations, Aims for the Future

posted Saturday Apr 28, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Clearwire Posts Q1 Loss, Beats Expectations, Aims for the Future

This week, Clearwire sent in their Q1 report and the numbers aren't good. For those that haven't been following the Clearwire saga, you can recap it all from the first moment of glory here. Once you've discovered the basics, you can check out how Sprint is pretty much holding the company above water, why Google dropped its stake in the company and why the failed LightSquared deal could have been the best thing to happen to Clearwire.

While the potential of a Clearwire replacement for LightSquared didn't pan out, the news came after the first quarter ended. This potential expansion still didn't help Clearwire's numbers with numbers down across the board. The company reported its first loss in quarter-over-quarter total revenue this week. The good news is that the actual dollar amount of revenue beat what most analysts predicted, so I suppose that is a small uptick. The company was able to gain some dollars from Sprint selling the service directly to customers and Clearwire saw a rise in stock price over the past 12 weeks.

Sprint is still using Clearwire's 4G WiMAX network while other carriers skipped over that technology and moved right to 4G LTE. However, with the aforementioned potential LightSquared failure, Sprint has decided to basically fund the network provider to help them deploy a true 4G network in the next two years. This 4G is rumored to be true 4G LTE Advanced and will blow away the current data speeds we are seeing on other carriers today.

For Clearwire, Sprint paid them around $6 for every 4G subscriber on their service last year but has now reworked the agreement to a flat rate of $900 million for both years 2012 and 2013, no matter how many customers are actually on the network. They will also be utilizing Clearwire's towers to sell their Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile services, which are both pre-paid options.

While revenue may be down, hopefully good things are to come with the new 4G roll-out we should see soon. Clearwire's stock price rose 5.4 percent, to $1.55 per share, after release of the results, which shows that shareholders see the value in the company long term, despite the losses for the quarter. Let's hope their 11 million subscribers agree and stick with Clear through the tough times and enjoy 100 Mb/s speeds in the near future.

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Nintendo to Make New Games Available via Download

posted Saturday Apr 28, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Nintendo to Make New Games Available via Download

Nintendo has long made it clear that it believed that downloadable games were something they did not think played into their strengths. In fact, they have continued to prove this belief by focusing on cartridges for the DS and discs for the Wii. They have certainly been left behind by the other two companies, with Microsoft offering many of its titles via download shortly after release, plus their download-only games available in the Xbox Live Marketplace, and Sony offering the PS Vita, the first platform to offer day one digital downloads.

Nintendo has made the decision to change their policy, as described during their financial results briefing. Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo, announced that, starting with New Super Mario Bros. 2 on the 3DS and later with titles on the WiiU, new titles will be available via both physical and digital distribution. There are positives and negatives to both options for everyone involved, of course. Developers, publishers and console manufacturers certainly like the idea of digital distribution. No packaging and no resale value means lower costs and higher sales, except for GameStop. Some gamers, however, prefer the physical media so they can share the game with their friends, or resell it to GameStop, Amazon, RadioShack and the like.

Will this help get Nintendo back to profitability or is this too little too late? Hit the break for our take.

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