British High Court: The Pirate Bay is sunk in the UK

pirate bay British High Court: The Pirate Bay is sunk in the UK

Four million British file sharers who depend on The Pirate Bay for free content will have to get their fix elsewhere after the country’s High Court ruled Internet service providers must block the site and cut off a major source of copyright infringement. The British Phonographic Industry, which called for a voluntary ban on the oldest torrent site in the business last November, applauded the High Court’s decision.

Sites like The Pirate Bar destroy jobs in the UK and undermine investment in new British artists.

The High Court has confirmed that The Pirate Bay infringes copyright on a massive scale. Its operators line their pockets by commercially exploiting music and other creative works without paying a penny to the people who created them. This is wrong – musicians, sound engineers and video editors deserve to be paid for their work just like everyone else.

Virgin Media, one of six ISPs ordered to block the site, agreed to comply with the court’s decision but said the measure won’t be enough to root out file sharing.

As a responsible ISP, Virgin Media complies with court orders addressed to the company but strongly believes that changing consumer behaviour to tackle copyright infringement also needs compelling legal alternatives, such as our agreement with Spotify, to give consumers access to great content at the right price.

Source: BBC

Microsoft invests $300M in Barnes & Noble subsidiary to take on Apple and Amazon in e-books

 Microsoft invests $300M in Barnes & Noble subsidiary to take on Apple and Amazon in e books

Never one to back down from a seemingly unwinnable fight, Microsoft has set its sights on territory long dominated by Apple and Amazon, ponying up nearly a third of a billion dollars to break into the e-book space. The Redmond-based company invested $300 million for a 17.6 percent stake of a newly created subsidiary of Barnes & Nobles that will include the bookseller’s Nook business as well as its education arm. The subsidiary, currently referred to as Newco, has been valued at $1.7 billion and will pool the companies’ resources with the aim of dethroning e-book titans Apple and Amazon, whose combined market share dwarfs all others.

To do that, the partners said they intend to push Nook software on Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 tablets, set to drop later this year. The companies also plan to appeal to students and educators – a market Apple now dominates, with 20,000 educational apps and an estimated 1.5 million devices deployed in schools.

Press release:

New York, NY and Redmond, WA (April 30, 2012) – Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) today announced the formation of a strategic partnership in a new Barnes & Noble subsidiary, which will build upon the history of strong innovation in digital reading technologies from both companies. The partnership will accelerate the transition to e-reading, which is revolutionizing the way people consume, create, share and enjoy digital content.

The new subsidiary, referred to in this release as Newco, will bring together the digital and College businesses of Barnes & Noble. Microsoft will make a $300 million investment in Newco at a post-money valuation of $1.7 billion in exchange for an approximately 17.6% equity stake. Barnes & Noble will own approximately 82.4% of the new subsidiary, which will have an ongoing relationship with the company’s retail stores. Barnes & Noble has not yet decided on the name of Newco.

One of the first benefits for customers will be a NOOK application for Windows 8, which will extend the reach of Barnes & Noble’s digital bookstore by providing one of the world’s largest digital catalogues of e-Books, magazines and newspapers to hundreds of millions of Windows customers in the U.S. and internationally.

The inclusion of Barnes & Noble’s College business is an important component of Newco’s strategic vision. Through the newly formed Newco, Barnes & Noble’s industry leading NOOK Study software will provide students and educators the preeminent technology platform for the distribution and management of digital education materials in the market.

“The formation of Newco and our relationship with Microsoft are important parts of our strategy to capitalize on the rapid growth of the NOOK business, and to solidify our position as a leader in the exploding market for digital content in the consumer and education segments,” said William Lynch, CEO of Barnes & Noble. “Microsoft’s investment in Newco, and our exciting collaboration to bring world-class digital reading technologies and content to the Windows platform and its hundreds of millions of users, will allow us to significantly expand the business.”

“The shift to digital is putting the world’s libraries and newsstands in the palm of every person’s hand, and is the beginning of a journey that will impact how people read, interact with, and enjoy new forms of content,” said Andy Lees, President at Microsoft. “Our complementary assets will accelerate e-reading innovation across a broad range of Windows devices, enabling people to not just read stories, but to be part of them. We’re at the cusp of a revolution in reading.”

Barnes & Noble and Microsoft have settled their patent litigation, and moving forward, Barnes & Noble and Newco will have a royalty-bearing license under Microsoft’s patents for its NOOK eReader and Tablet products. This paves the way for both companies to collaborate and reach a broader set of customers.

Newco,

On January 5, Barnes & Noble announced that it was exploring the strategic separation of its digital business in order to maximize shareholder value. Barnes & Noble is actively engaged in the formation of Newco, which will include Barnes & Noble’s digital and College businesses. The company intends to explore all alternatives for how a strategic separation of Newco may occur. There can be no assurance that the review will result in a strategic separation or the creation of a stand-alone public company, and there is no set timetable for this review. Barnes & Noble does not intend to comment further regarding the review unless and until a decision is made.

Additional information will be contained in a Current Report on Form 8-K to be filed by Barnes & Noble.

Barnes & Noble and Microsoft will host an investor call and webcast beginning at 8:30 A.M. ET on Monday, April 30, 2012. To join the webcast, please visit: www.barnesandnobleinc.com/webcasts.

Source: TechCrunch

Samsung replaces 14-year titleholder Nokia as world’s biggest handset supplier

For the past 14 years, since it took the title from Motorola in 1998, Nokia has been the most prolific shipper of mobile phones on the planet. But now the Finnish company finds itself in unfamiliar territory: second place. According to new report from market researchers Strategy Analytics, Samsung, not Nokia, is now responsible for shipping the most handsets globally – 93.5 million in the first quarter, compared to Nokia’s 82.7 million.

Tom Kang, an analyst with Strategy Analytics, said of the shift in power:

Last year Samsung became No. 1 in Europe while Nokia retained the No. 1 position in most emerging markets. In the first quarter, we expect Samsung took a lot of market share from Nokia in Asia. China and India were the two biggest markets where Samsung gained.

At $9.7 billion, Nokia’s first-quarter sales were down $4 billion year-over-year. Meanwhile, rival Samsung reported record earnings, including $39.9 billion in revenue and profits of $5.1 billion.

Source: Bloomberg

comScore: Kindle Fire dominates Android tablet market, had nearly 55 percent share in Feb.

Amazon’s Kindle Fire has only been available since mid-November, scarcely more than five months, but in its brief time on the market, it’s managed to dominate its Android competition. According to market researchers comScore, as of February, Amazon’s 7-inch tablet had a commanding 54.4 share of the Android tablet market in the U.S., far outpacing Samsung’s next-place Galaxy Tab line, which had a measly 15.4 percent share. To give you an idea of the Fire’s rapid adoption, comScore estimates it had a 41.8 percent market share in January, and a 29.4 percent share in December, its first full month on the market. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab family, on the other hand, saw its market share decline from 23.8 percent in December and 19.1 percent in January.

Source: comScore

Apple discontinues Chomp for Android

Earlier this year, Apple acquired an app search and discovery service called Chomp in hopes of simplifying iTunes for users. But despite the February takeover, app-seeking Android users have continued to benefit from Chomp’s services. Until today. In a move that shocked some, and shocked us that they were shocked, Apple has shut down Chomp for Android and dealt a significant, not to mention inevitable, blow to its main rival.

Fortunately for Android users, Chomp isn’t the only search and discovery service in town, and others, like AppsFire, happily cater to Google’s mobile community.

Galaxy S III to feature quad-core Exynos chip, but not in the U.S., says Samsung exec

U.S.-bound Galaxy S IIIs won’t feature Samsung’s quad-core Exynos processor after all, according to a Samsung executive who cleared the air on the condition of anonymity. The executive told Korea Times that while European and Korean markets will see quad-core equipped Galaxy phones, America will not. Instead, Samsung will outfit those phones with Qualcomm’s dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, which the source claimed is better suited to the 4G LTE networks found in the U.S.

Samsung plans to release its Galaxy S III smartphone according to different specifications and different markets. For European customers, it will use 3G and the company’s own quad-core mobile Aps, while its own solution that combines LTE, 3G and quad-core mobile Aps will be used for the Korean version. But only in the United States, will Samsung use Qualcomm chips.

Source: Gotta Be Mobile

Apple to build off-campus restaurant to prevent eavesdropping

For Adam Lashinsky, who penned an Apple tell-all that dropped in January, Cupertino eateries near Apple’s campus were invaluable sources of privileged information. But for Apple, those locations and the secrets their patrons, its employees, let slip are a constant annoyance, and curious authors aren’t its only concern. Corporate espionage represents a more serious threat, and to cut down on its incidence, Apple plans to build a new, 21,468-square-foot off-campus restaurant that will separate its loose-lipped employees from potential eavesdroppers. The facility, which will be located in the shadow of Apple’s Infinite Loop headquarters, will include a cafe, meeting room, lounge areas, and courtyard facilities.

apple restaurant1 Apple to build off campus restaurant to prevent eavesdropping

Dan Whisenhunt, Apple’s director of real estate facilities, discussed the project, pictured above, in a Tuesday meeting:

We like to provide a level of security so that people and employees can feel comfortable talking about their business, their research and whatever project they’re engineering without fear of competition sort of overhearing their conversations.

That is a real issue today in Cupertino because we’ve got other companies here in our same business.

Source: The Next Web

Kaspersky: Apple ’10 years behind Microsoft’ on malware defense

Apple isn’t used to lagging behind its competitors, but when it comes to defending against malware, the Cupertino-based company trails rival Microsoft by a decade, according to Eugene Kaspersky, co-founder and CEO of Kaspersky Lab, a multi-national computer security firm.

Amid massive malware attacks that have infected millions of Macs, Kaspersky told Computer Business Review that the outbreak was inevitable for devices whose popularity has soared in recent years.

Just a question of time and market share. Cyber criminals have now recognized that Mac is an interesting area. Now we have more, it’s not just Flashback or Flashfake. Welcome to Microsoft’s world, Mac. It’s full of malware.

Kaspersky said the attacks highlight Macs’ vulnerability and place Apple squarely in Microsoft’s unenviable boat.

I think they are ten years behind Microsoft in terms of security. For many years I’ve been saying that from a security point of view there is no big difference between Mac and Windows. It’s always been possible to develop Mac malware, but this one was a bit different. For example it was asking questions about being installed on the system and, using vulnerabilities, it was able to get to the user mode without any alarms

Apple is now entering the same world as Microsoft has been in for more than 10 years: updates, security patches and so on. We now expect to see more and more because cyber criminals learn from success and this was the first successful one.

If Apple is to protect its users, Kaspersky said it must adopt Microsoft’s oft-maligned habit of issuing frequent updates.

They will have to make changes in terms of the cycle of updates and so on and will be forced to invest more into their security audits for the software.

Source: CBR

Image source: Digital Trends

Amazon beats earnings forecast, reports $13.2B in quarterly revenue

Life is good for Amazon, which blew away analysts today with a reported $13.2 billion in quarterly revenue. That amounts to 28 cents earned on every share, as opposed to the more modest 6 cents per share and $12.9 billion overall anticipated by Wall Street analysts. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos attributed the surprising haul to the success of the company’s Kindle and its Kindle Store.

Kindle is the bestselling e-reader in the world by far. I assure you we’ll keep working hard so that the Kindle Store remains yet another reason to buy a Kindle!

While Bezos wouldn’t say how many Kindles Amazon sold over the quarter, he predicted the company will have a similarly lucrative second quarter, with revenue of $11.9 billion to $13.3 billion.

Microsoft to take wraps off new Xbox music service, codenamed Woodstock, at E3

R.I.P., Zune. According to insiders briefed on Microsoft’s plans, the company is killing off Zune, but that doesn’t mean Redmond’s getting out of the music business. Sources say Microsoft will provide a sneak peak of the doomed music service’s replacement during June’s E3 conference. The Spotify-like service, internally referred to as Woodstock, will work across multiple platforms, including Windows 8, Android, iOS, and, of course, the Xbox 360. And unlike Apple’s iTunes, Woodstock won’t require users to fill their hard drives with software — it’ll be playable from browsers, and users won’t need to install a plugin.

The Verge has more:

[Woodstock is] said to integrate deeply with Facebook, allowing friends to build group playlists and share tracks. An additional “scan and match” function, similar to iTunes Match, is also being tested as part of Woodstock to allow users to identify their existing music collection in the service. Although Microsoft will preview the service at E3 — barring any last-minute changes in its plans, of course — it is not expected to launch until later this year alongside Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 devices

Source: The Verge