Archive for December, 2010

Screen Industry Success Is a Touching Story [Digital Daily]

December 30, 2010  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Here’s a truism: 2010 was a banner year for the touch-screen industry. Driven by the steady proliferation of multitouch smartphones and tablets–one in particular–the worldwide touch-screen industry will probably see 30 percent year-over-year growth in 2010 by the time the year is over. So says NPD DisplaySearch, which figures suppliers shipped 6.3 million tablet/mini-note touch screens in the first half of 2010 and more than 20 million in the second half. Quite the upward trend and one that we’ll almost certainly see continue next year as the iPad juggernaut rolls on, more Android tablets arrive at market and consumer and enterprise demand for all of them grows. Wintek and TPK Touch Solutions have a lot to look forward to next year.

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Changes loom for studios

December 30, 2010  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film News: A list of 2010 developments that will impact the biz -- Even with the economy rebounding, the majors are scrambling as never before to adjust to a fast-changing environment.

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Sony Decides It Doesn’t Want to Be Left Out of Cellphone Patent Fight [Mobilized]

December 30, 2010  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Just making it in under the wire, Sony became the latest cellphone maker in 2010 to allege that a rival’s products infringe on some patented technology. Sony on Wednesday filed a complaint in the U.S. International Trade Commission alleging that Korean rival LG infringes on a number of Sony’s patents. The company is asking the ITC to bar importation of LG products that are found to violate its patents. Among the phones that Sony alleges are infringing on its technology are the Accolate, Encore, enV Touch, Glance, Lotus Elite, Neon, Quantum and Rumor Touch. The latest legal challenge adds to an already crowded docket of wireless competitors making patent-related claims .

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The Ring Road (Al-Tariq Al-Da’ery)

December 30, 2010  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film Reviews: Tamer Ezzat makes a respectable if uneven helming debut.

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What’s In Store for Technology in 2011 [Personal Technology]

December 30, 2010  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

It has been a big year in personal technology, from the debut and early success of Apple’s iPad, to the rise and continuous improvement of Google’s Android smart phone platform, to the continued surge in social services led by Facebook and Twitter. [ See post to watch video ] So I thought I’d take a look at the challenges and opportunities facing some major players in consumer tech in 2011. As with all my columns, this one is focused only on products and services provided directly to consumers, rather than to businesses. Also, as usual, this column isn’t meant to offer investment advice or to evaluate the management skills or financial condition of companies. It is a look at the products and competitive positions of the key contenders as they enter the new year. Apple : Coming off a highly successful 2010, in which it introduced a new category of portable computer—the multitouch tablet—and sold millions of the product, Apple will have to withstand an onslaught of competitors by wowing consumers again with the second version of the iPad. At the same time, it will have to make a widely expected transition for the iPhone from a single carrier in the U.S., AT&T, to a second, likely Verizon. This could present a new opportunity to reach lots of new customers, but the sleek phone will have to work well on different network technology. At the same time, Apple will be hoping its planned new Macintosh operating system, Lion, can preserve the surprising momentum of the high-priced Mac, which the company is trying to enhance with certain iPad-like features, such as an app store and longer battery life. Apple’s iPad will face an onslaught of competition in the coming year. In 2011, Apple also is likely to try to address two areas where it has been weak: cloud computing and social networking. Both its MobileMe cloud service and its Ping social network had rough starts, and MobileMe charges $100 a year for services others give away. Apple is so popular, it has a huge opportunity to link users of its family of devices and of iTunes via the cloud and social networks, but it will have to aim higher and execute better. The second area where it likely hopes to improve is in the living room. The new, cheaper Apple TV is selling better than its predecessor but still lacks much Internet content. To break through, Apple will have to strike landmark deals with media companies.

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Academy unveils list of Oscar-eligible scores

December 30, 2010  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Music News: Composer James Newton Howard leads with four -- Seventy-seven original scores have qualified for Academy Award consideration, according to the list mailed this week to the 236 voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences' music branch.

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Fun With Mobile Stats: Holiday Edition [Mobilized]

December 30, 2010  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

By themselves, end-of-the-year stats can be kind of boring, so I decided to take two such compilations and create one of those mashups all the kids are talking about. Both Zillow and eBay offered up some mobile facts and figures on Wednesday, and it turns out one of the companies saw its biggest ever mobile usage on the Christmas and the day after Christmas. And if you guessed it was from all of those people putting up their unwanted presents on eBay, you are completely, 100 percent…wrong. Dec. 25 and 26 saw record mobile traffic to Zillow. In general, mobile traffic to the real-estate site surges whenever people are out of the office. During the average weekday, Zillow says that only about 15 percent of traffic comes from mobile devices. On a typical weekend, anywhere from one-fifth to one quarter of Zillow’s traffic is from phones. On Thanksgiving, that figure reached 30 percent, while Christmas Day saw a record number of visits to the mobile site, with phones accounting for a third of all Zillow’s traffic. As for eBay, it said Dec. 12 was its busiest mobile sales day ever, with the number of transactions well more than double that of the busiest day of 2009. That marked two years in a row that the second Sunday in December was the busiest eBay shopping day. For those who want to slice eBay’s mobile business in all sorts of ways, the company has posted an interactive graphic with all sorts of fun facts. For instance, auto parts represented 15 percent of mobile sales in Germany as compared with only 8 percent in the U.S.

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Jackson estate blasts Discovery

December 29, 2010  |  Variety  |  No Comments

TV News: Letter protests U.K. channel's plans for autopsy reenactment special -- Legal reps for the Michael Jackson estate have written a letter of protest to Discovery Communications, denouncing the plan by the cabler's U.K. channel to air a special billed as a fictional recreation of the deceased singer's postmortem.

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Seventh Person Arrested in Insider Trading Probe [NewEnterprise]

December 29, 2010  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

The FBI has arrested another person in the ongoing investigation of sharing of insider information to investors by consultants working for so-called expert firms. The latest to be arrested is Winifred Jiau, 43, of Fremont, Calif. Like others, who were charged or arrested on Dec. 16 , she has ties to Primary Global Research. She’s accused of providing inside information to Primary Global clients who were portfolio managers at hedge funds of Nvidia and Marvell Technology during a period from 2006 to 2008. Prosecutors say she collected $200,000 during that time. She’s facing charges of conspiracy and securities fraud. In August of 2008, the complaint says, she provided managers of two hedge funds with detailed numbers for quarterly revenues, per-share earnings and gross margins for the quarter ending that month. The complaint says that in the conversations she made it clear she had obtained the information directly from an employee of Marvell. The funds in question–they were not named in the complaint–allegedly made $820,000 on trades from the information. On Aug. 8, 2008, the complaint says, Jiau provided the hedge fund managers with an early look at Nvidia’s quarterly revenue and told them it planned to announce a stock buyback, which it did four days later. I’ve embedded the complaint below. Jiau, Winifred Complaint

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ITunes Video Rentals a $1 Billion Business by 2015? [Digital Daily]

December 29, 2010  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

How big is Apple’s iTunes video rental business? In a research note today, Gleacher & Co. analyst Brian Marshall hazards a guess: Apple’s serving about 475,000 rentals a day and raking in upwards of $60 million per quarter doing it. Not too shabby for a service launched in January of 2008. And if its growth follows a trend line similar to that of Netflix–which is certainly within the realm of possibility given sales of next-generation Apple TVs and the popularity of iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad–Marshall figures Apple’s iTunes rental operation will be big business by 2015. “Over the past five years, Netflix’s subscriber base has quintupled while revenue more than tripled,” says Marshall. “If Apple can grow its related business similarly to Netflix’s historical growth profile, it is feasible iTunes’ annual rental revenue could exceed $1 billion by 2015.” That’s another $300 million per year for Apple’s bottom line, assuming the company keeps about 30 percent of the total.

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