Category: Business

Google plans to kill off iPad

Search outfit Google seems jolly happy that Apple has released such a weak iPad.

Apparently it has something much better on the drawing board that will knock the socks off what Jobs’ Mob is planning.

Google has been showing off designs for a new tablet computer based on its Chrome operating system.

Google’s user interface designer, Glen Murphy, published mock-ups of a Google tablet on the website, along with a video.

Chrome OS is a little more meaty version of the Android platform for smartphones and does many thinks that the iPhone operating system in the iPad can’t manage.

Writing in his bog, Murphy published an image which shows a range of hand gestures that would be supported by the tablet.

Google would not say when or if it would start selling a tablet.

However it will join a long list of people queuing up to wipe the floor with Jobs’ Mob for releasing what was basically a netbook without a keyboard or an iPhone without a phone.

Dell released its Alienware M11x, which is an ultra-portable laptop with an 11-inch screen but includes a top-of-the-line graphics chip and processor. Dell described the machine as “the fastest sub-12 inch laptop in the universe”.

It is clear that Dell believed that Apple would go for a top end product with decent graphics rather than an over priced netbook with a chip inside it which has the same processing power as plankton.



Trusted bank doesn't trust AMD shares

AMD may believe it has its financial house in order, but a frantic Goldman Sachs today added the little chipper who could(n’t) to its “SELL! SELL!! SELL GODDAMIT!!!” list, claiming it reckons the firm will lose rather a lot of money this year.

 “We expect the company to continue to generate sizable losses in 2010, driven by the combination of losses at GlobalFoundries, meaningful exposure to the low-end of the desktop business, and potential share loss in high-end servers,” wrote Goldman analyst Jim Covello.

Shame no one told Mr. Covello that AMD had deconsolidated from Glofo, but, then again, Goldman analysts are so busy calculating their bonuses, we doubt there’s much time left for boring old fact checking.

“Importantly,” carried on Covello, rather self-importantly, “we continue to highlight that AMD’s peak EPS is likely to deteriorate cycle-to-cycle given its high interest expense and higher share count vs. last cycle.” So, even when AMD wins, it loses, apparently.

Shaking his top-hatted head, Covello laments that the firm’s stock is up 264 per cent over the last 12 months, a sure sign of impending doom in Goldman Sachs’ book.

Also added to GS’ dramatically named “Conviction Sell List” is Canadian Telecom firm Rogers Communications, because you just can’t trust those pesky Canucks.

Eh, ATI?

Siemens wants India

German megacorporation Siemens is setting itself up to get a slice of the Indian market. The company plans to double its capital expenditure to €250 million and wants to create 8000 new jobs in the country.

Siemens’ CEO Peter Löscher said he wants to grow the market share for infrastructure technologies, such as water plants and power, from the current five percent to 10 percent by 2012.

The workforce will expand from 17.000 to 25.000, reports the Financial Times Deutschland. Löscher was quoted as saying the growth rates of India and other developing countries were remarkable, which is why Siemens needed to expand its presence.

He added that every third Indian has no power connection, which is why the Indian government wants to add 150 gigawatts of power in the next seven years – the equivalent of the total power capacity in Germany.

Twenty percent of it is supposed to come from renewable energy sources – which is why Siemens will invest €70 million in the construction of a factory for wind turbines in India. Löscher, who is currently in New Delhi, said the first turbines are to be shipped in 2012.

Six new centres are currently in the planing phase and are supposed to develop and churn out signalling systems and steam turbines for the local market some time in the future. Löscher wants Siemens to have a revenue of €1 billion in India by 2020. Siemens won orders worth €500 million from the Indian government last week.

Gartner tells businesses to retrain their IT staff

Gartner has announced that IT workers will have to retrain in areas such as law, marketing and even librarianship to survive in the coming years.

Speaking at the Gartner Business Intelligence Summit in London, vice president of Gartner Research, Debra Logan presented a session discussion entitled ‘New job titles your business needs’. During this session, Logan predicted that a major trend in IT job roles will force IT professionals to retrain with skills in

According to Logan’s research, the volume of data that companies are amassing is growing. She pointed out a gap that was emerging between the amount of data and its perceived value. Essentially, the more data from customers, employees, suppliers, etc, the less valuable that data is perceived to be.

“Companies are drowning in data,” Logan said, during her speech. “By 2012, users will install 6.5 times the terabytes that they installed in 2008, but companies are still unwilling to delete anything.”

This has created a skills gap in IT as new roles must be created to control the data. Logan feels that the only solution to this is retraining existing staff to create four new roles.

These so called ‘hybrids’ are litigation support managers (legal and IT hybrids), digital archivists (librarian IT worker hybrids), business information managers (IT workers with business training, or vice versa) and enterprise information architects whose job would be to create fixed structures and processes for file creation and templates of documents.

These new job roles are necessary, according to Ms Logan, as Gartner believes that by 2012, 20 per cent of businesses will have no IT assets.

“Business Intelligence is huge right now and everyone is talking about it,” says Whitaker IT staffing consultant, Patrick Montesanto. “IT professional constantly need to keep themselves current on the most recent developments in technology.

“This is becoming more and more important as I believe the turnover in technology happens much more quickly than ever before”


Sohu just can't stop growing

Chinese web portal said revenue hit a total of $515.2 million last year, 20 percent more than it managed to turn over in 2008. Net profit without contributions from the stake in Chinese online game maker Changyou totalled $139.3 million. In the fourth quarter,’s revenues reached $135.8 million, one percent less than in the third quarter, yet an increase of 12 percent year over year.

SohuAdvertising revenue increased by just two percent in the fourth quarter and was $45.9 million. however managed to grow sales of its online games. Revenue in that area totalled $70.7 million, an increase of 21 percent compared to the same period of 2008.

Wireless revenues were hit by China Mobile’s refusal to bill its customers for WAP services. Whilst wireless services revenue did increase six percent over the course of the last 12 months to $15.7 million, it fell by seven percent sequentially. China Mobile halted billig WAP services to aid Great Leader in removing smut and content worthy of censorship from mobile phones and WAP portals. Net profit sans Changyou was $29.4 million. expects its net profit to be somewhere in the range of $45 million to $47.5 million in the first quarter, whilst revenue is estimated to decrease to around $123 million to $128 million. Sohu’s CFO Carol Yu blathered how well her employer had done despite the “challenging economic environment of 2009”. She naturally believes Sohu will do well this year and give its shareholders a nice return on investment, something which Sohu’s former competitor Google was unable to deliver in Greater China.

Apple sued over iPhone 3G, 3GS

A case started late last week in an Illinois district court, with a company called Intellect Wireless Inc alleging that Apple breached at least two patents it owns.

Prototype in SmithsonianThe filing says that Daniel Henderson is the founder of Intellect Wireless and the inventor of the patents in question. The suit says Henderson has 25 US patents and several more pending, and his prototype for a wireless picture phone device has a place in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian.

Intellect Wireless owns two patents: 7,266,186 is called Methodology and Apparatus for Improved Paging Receiver and System; the other,7,310,416 is called Methodology and Apparatus for Improved Personal Communication Devices and Systems.

Apple, it’s alleged has directly and/or indirectly infringed at least one claim of the 186 patent and 416 patent on the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS devices.

Intellect Wireless notified its claims about the alleged patent infringement and sent a package of materials to Apple regarding the patents.

Intellect is demanding a jury trial.

Gellyfish (sic) sues Intel, Dell, HP, Sony…

Intel logoA company with the unlikely name of Gellyfish Technologies LLC  wants to sting Intel, Dell, HP, Sony, Asus, Lenovo, Alienware, and Power Support because it’s alleged they breached a patent it owns.

The patents in question are 6,336,614 called Conformable Computer Hand Pads, issued by the US Patens and Trademark Office on the 8th of January 2002 and 6,963,486, a similar patent registration. The patents relate to ergonomic hand rests incorporated into notebooks.

All the defendants, including Intel, are accused of infringing the patent by providing specialised laptop computer products that are based on the patent invention.

Gellyfish wants a jury to award costs and damages for breaching the patent. Gellyfish Technologies has sued a number of companies previously over these patents including Acer and Gateway.

Energy firm tries to crack open Hotmail account

A wind farm energy company has filed a petition with a US district court asking it to order Microsoft to give it access to a Hotmail account.

Suzlon Energy, with its HQ in Pune in India,  is engaged in a a legal case against Rajagopalan Sridhar and others in Australia. It’s alleged they fradulently milked Suzlon of money.

Suzlan image from press web siteThe lawyers for Suzlon had already petitioned Microsoft Australia to produce copies of emails, but it referred the matter to its parent company in Redmond.

Suzlon is attempting to recover AU$28,659,735.87 ($25,221,914.42)) from the defendants in the case.

Suzlon set up a shipping company business called Suzlon Infrastructure Ltd and Sridhar was a senior employee with the job title of chief manufacturing officer. It’s alleged he and a co-defendant, Sanjeev Bangad, were in charge of developing and managing the shipping business.

Suzlon alleges that Sridhar incorporated several companies which he used for receipt of funds diverted from the collection of freights. The allegation claims that Bangad and Sridhar obtained secret commissions, acted in breach of their fiduciary duties and committed fraud.

Amazon chickens out of publishing war

Online shop Amazon backed down from taking on Macmillan over pricing of its e-books.

Macmillan had issued a statement saying Amazon had removed its e-books from its virtual shelves after a spat over their pricing.

Macmillan wanted to charge between $12.99 and $14.99 for its e-book versions of its bestsellers.

A lass using a Kindle, from Kindle web siteBut yesterday Amazon totally capitulated to Macmillan and said as much. In a statement on its web site it said: “We have expressed our strong disagreement and the seriousness of our disagreement by temporarily ceasing the sale of all Macmillan titles. We want you to know that ultimately, however, we will have to capitulate and accept Macmillan’s terms because Macmillan has a monopoly over their own titles, and we will want to offer them to you even at prices we believe are needlessly high for e-books.”

Amazon said it believed that not all of the major publishers would follow Macmillan’s lead.

“We know for sure that many independent presses and self-published authors will see this as an opportunity to provide atttractively priced e-books as an alternative.”

Amazon, it continued, believed in Kindle and saw it as a mission as well as a business. “We never expected it to be easy!”

Fujitsu might sue over iPad

Lawyers at the mobile phone maker Fujitsu are mulling over whether they should take Apple to the cleaners for releasing a product which they have applied for a trademark.

Hacks at AFP did a bit of a shifty and found that the name iPad has been used in small engines and bra inserts. Coconut Grove Pads has since 2007 made a line of bra inserts and shoulder pads called the “iPad” (see snap).

But it is the case of Fujitsu which might have left Jobs’ Mob feeling a right tit.

Fujitsu said that in 2002 it launched the “iPad” which was a handheld multimedia device with a 3.5-inch screen, used by retail store clerks to keep inventory data, scan barcodes and manage business operations.

Its product had an Intel processor and a Microsoft operating system and supports both Wi-fi and Bluetooth connections.

It trademarked the name in 2003. The application is still pending and not yet registered.

Fujitsu is thinking about how it may react to the launch of Apple’s tablet computer, saying: “As we are now sorting out the facts, we have not decided on what action we may take.”

Legal experts expect the case never to get to court. The name is not exactly creative or original and several other outfits have thought of the same thing.

Siemens uses the trademark “iPad” for small engines and motors, STMicroelectronics has reportedly also registered “IPAD”, short for “Integrated Passive and Active Devices.”