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Yahoo's Facebook Lawsuit - an IPO Gimmick?

posted Saturday Mar 17, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Yahoo's Facebook Lawsuit - an IPO Gimmick?

Yahoo's management made an interesting and unexpected move this week, suing Facebook for patent infringement. There are 10 patents in question here, some of which were filed and issued long ago, before anyone really knew what the Internet was or where it was headed. The patents are vague and mostly nondescript, leaving open a lot of room for failure on Yahoo's part.

There are a number of issues that this filing has raised. First, there is the major problem of software patent law. There are a lot of thoughts on what needs to happen, and most of those thoughts seem to come from a place of misunderstanding of how software or patents work. Patents, for software or hardware, are only allowed to be approved for implementation not concept. For instance, one of the patents in question, "Control for enabling a user to preview display of selected content based on another user's authorization level," is not focused on implementation, but instead on concept. This patent does not bind to the law for patents, and therefore has no chance of standing up in a court case like this.

The solution here is to get the US Patent Office involved and get them to stop approving unlawful patents. That is not an option with patents already in question, so that leads to the second issue. With the ability of the court to nullify the patents in question here, why would Yahoo choose to file against Facebook after theoretically infringing for years? Hit the break to find out.

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Microsoft Says They Won't Be Releasing a New Console Until At Least Next Year

posted Saturday Mar 17, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Microsoft Says They Won't Be Releasing a New Console Until At Least Next Year

Even with the Wii U being released this year, Microsoft says the company will not be following suit by releasing their next Xbox console and hopes to get one more year out of the Xbox 360's life. Sources have reported that the Xbox team has confidence that the console will continue selling at a record pace, especially when it's paired with the Kinect.

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Sprint Terminates Relationship With LightSquared

posted Saturday Mar 17, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Sprint Terminates Relationship With LightSquared

It would appear that this week the end to a very short but very tragic story has been written. LightSquared, the company that Sprint had announced a LTE network partnership with in October, has lost its never-existent partner. Sprint has announced that it has ended its planned partnership. This is a decision that we have expected to hear considering the problems that LightSquared has had and the money that Sprint has poured into its other 4G partner, Clearwire.

Over the past few months, as Clearwire has had more and more financial problems, plus losing most of its partners, Sprint has been the knight in shining armor, twice. With all of the money that Sprint has given to Clearwire, there was no doubt in anyone's mind that it indicated Sprint had lost faith in its new partner and was moving to focus on repairing its relationship with Clearwire.

What does Sprint have to say about all of this? Hit the break to find out.

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Maxis and EA Bringing SimCity Back in 2013

posted Sunday Mar 11, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Maxis and EA Bringing <i>SimCity</i> Back in 2013

Remember SimCity? This was a game that anyone could pick up, play and have a great time. It spanned from 1989 all the way to SimCity 4 in 2003 and the latest SimCity: Societies in 2007. We've even seen iterations on PSPs, DS's and the iPhone.

Now, with all the hoopla happening at South by Southwest and GDC this week, we've seen a new title come out of the Maxis studio at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Electronic Arts and Maxis have confirmed they are bringing the amazingness of SimCity back in 2013.

Lucy Bradshaw from Maxis said,

SimCity for PC will equip players with the tools to play the most sophisticated simulation of its kind. We are dedicated to making sure the experience - no matter the platform - has the fun, flavor and playability that has been intrinsic to the franchise since its birth.

We will see nuances from all of the previous titles appear in the game, as is the norm for this series, including the social elements from Societies. We will also get the ability to build your empire masterpiece next to a friend's. New to the game will be climate changes, added natural disasters and the ability to research renewable energy resources.

We have the trailer after the break.

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Google Drops Clearwire Stock, Takes Huge Loss in the Process

posted Sunday Mar 11, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Google Drops Clearwire Stock, Takes Huge Loss in the Process

Last week I covered Sprint's continuing aid for wireless company Clearwire who is currently facing some tough times. Last month, I did a recap on their entire current situation from the beginning up until now.

This week, however, we must talk about the instability of the company yet again. Reports are coming in that Google has sold its portion of Clearwire stock to Credit Suisse Group AG. Google had purchased its 29.4 million shares in 2008 for $500 million and has now sold off that purchase at $2.26 per share, or $66.5 million, well under the original purchase price. However, Google was only looking for $1.60 a share last week, so I suppose getting more than what you wanted out of it isn't a total loss. $453 million is a lot of money to lose, though.

Now, while it's a common practice for companies like Credit Suisse to pick up large quantities of shares to then resell to other interested buyers, Google dropping its stake in the company could speak volumes about the uncertainty that is looming around Clearwire's future. Google commented that, "Google periodically rebalances its investments based on its goals and its evaluation of market conditions."

After all that you've seen from our Clearwire coverage just this year alone, do you think the company will be around in 6 months? A year? Longer? We want to know in the comments section below.

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HP Sees Light Powered Computer Chips and They're Fast

posted Sunday Mar 11, 2012 by Jon Wurm

HP Sees Light Powered Computer Chips and They're Fast

HP is working on a project codenamed "Carona" that focuses on using fiber optic-like technology to address some problems that data centers and supercomputers are facing in terms of scalability and power consumption. Advancements and implementation of this technology could effectively make "electronics" so last MacWorld.

Corona will be a 265 core computer chip manufactured with a 16nm form factor that uses beams of light to connect the cores together. The cores in the chip will be arranged in 64 core clusters and be able to operate at 10 trillion operations per second, allowing the cores to communicate with each other at 20 terabytes per second! The cores would also be able to communicate with external memory at 10 terabytes per second... that's insane. Put 5 of these chips together and you're in the same league with modern supercomputers in terms of computing power. "Integrated photonics" is the key to making Corona a reality by 2017 and it focuses on using a similar technology that exists in telecommunication networks but this has to be adapted for core-to-core communication. This technology is not a reality yet but with chip manufactures shrinking optical communication devices to fit onto chips, the reality is getting closer. According to HP Lab's researcher Marco Fiorentino,

A lot of people have concentrated on individual devices. Now they're starting to build circuits. It's like going from the transistor to the integrated circuit.

Corona would be incredibly fast but how will it help increase scalability and reduce power consumption which are equally important? Read on after the break to find out.

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