The Wall Street Journal Stories January 11, 2016

According to a report today out of The Wall Street Journal, Ford, as part of its plan to reinvent itself, is planning to create a separate business unit dedicated to its ambitions in autonomous cars for “ride-sharing and fleets.” Of course the company is seeking partnerships in this space, and it just so happens that, just as was reported by Yahoo Autos a few weeks ago, Alphabet Inc.’s Google is a big part of this move…

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The Wall Street Journal Stories September 7, 2015

The WSJ is reporting that Amazon is going to strip down a 6-inch tablet and sell it for $50 for the holidays. What’s amazing is that the theoretically color tablet was cheaper to make than even an ebook display version:

Mr. Bezos had set an internal goal of the $50 price tag for versions of both the Fire tablet and Kindle e-reader, viewing the rock-bottom prices as a crucial lure for a more cost-conscious group of buyers, the people said. But the e-reader screen technology from its vendors ultimately proved too expensive to drop the retail price, the people said. Amazon’s cheapest Kindle sells for $79.

It is likely that the $50 Tablet will be a pared down version of the already minimalist $99 6-inch Kindle which has gone on sale for as little at $69 in recent months. The report cites a mono speaker as one of the cost cutting initiatives but the company will likely drop things like cameras, display quality and battery life.

What might be more interesting to me is that Amazon is said to have fired many from its FireOS group in the wake of the Fire Phone flop and subsequent $170M writedown… expand full story

Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

The Wall Street Journal Stories March 26, 2015

The Federal Trade Commission has issued a statement denying the WSJ‘s suggestion that the decision to clear Google of anti-competitive behavior was “a close call.”

The WSJ yesterday obtained part of one of the investigative reports, which included a sentence reading “Although it is a close call, we do not recommend that the Commission issue a complaint against Google for this conduct.”

As we stated when the investigation was closed, the Commission concluded that Google’s search practices were not, “on balance, demonstrably anticompetitive.”

Contrary to recent press reports, the Commission’s decision on the search allegations was in accord with the recommendations of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, Bureau of Economics, and Office of General Counsel.

The FTC describes the WSJ story as “misleading” …  expand full story

The Wall Street Journal Stories March 8, 2013

We heard in October that Google had plans to further reduce Motorola’s workforce after cutting around 20 percent, or roughly 4,000 jobs, in August. The Wall Street Journal reported today on an email from Google that confirmed the company is beginning to cut around 1,200 employees (a little over 10 percent of its current total headcount):

Motorola MSI -0.74% staffers were informed by the company via email this week that “while we’re very optimistic about the new products in our pipeline, we still face challenges.” The company email added that “our costs are too high, we’re operating in markets where we’re not competitive and we’re losing money.”

As for where the cuts might take place, we previously reported that Motorola, which was unprofitable for 14 of its last 16 quarters, planned to reduce its operations in Asia and India, but today’s report said the layoffs would hit workers in the United States, China, and India. Google also warned that further restructuring might be necessary and significant costs could be involved.

In a recent piece from The Wall Street Journal highlighting Google executives’ fear that Samsung is gaining too much dominance, Android chief Andy Rubin said the purchase of Motorola was “a kind of insurance policy against a manufacturer such as Samsung gaining too much power over Android.”

The Wall Street Journal Stories August 1, 2011

In a report from the WSJ, a new study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh used facial-recognition technology in combination with data from Facebook accounts to successfully identify one-third of volunteer participants.

In the study, researchers used PittPatt software and a webcam to snap photos of volunteers who would later be identified via their publicly available Facebook profile pictures. Raising considerable security and privacy concerns, however, was the fact Professor Acquisti was also able to correctly predict the first five digits of a participant’s Social Security number in approximately 27% of cases (those are determined where you are born and when).

Should you be worried? Not if you trust Google’s stance on privacy… Addressing the privacy concerns highlighted by the study, a Google spokesperson told WSJ:

“We’ve said that we won’t add face recognition to our apps or product features unless we have strong privacy protections in place, and that’s still the case”

Google recently acquired the facial-recognition technology and will more than likely be integrating it into various Google products including Google+ and Google Goggles. A Google spokesperson had this to say about the acquisition:

“The Pittsburgh Pattern Recognition team has developed innovative technology in the area of pattern recognition and computer vision. We think their research and technology can benefit our users in many ways, and we look forward to working with them.” expand full story

The Wall Street Journal Stories July 29, 2011

Anticipating Android backers will face legal hurdles as Apple now has the upper hand in its case against HTC (here and here), Google has stepped up and bought more than a thousand IBM patents for an undisclosed sum. The news was first reported by the blog SEO by the Sea and picked up by The Wall Street Journal. The search company might use IBM inventions as a leverage against pending lawsuits that indirectly involve its Android software.

Google failed to outbid the Apple-led consortium which paid $4.5 billion for Nortel’s treasure chest of more than 6,000 patents covering wireless technologies, among them crucial inventions related to fourth-generation cellular networks. The new patent deal is in line with Google’s focus on snapping up patent portfolios left and right in creating a “disincentive for others to sue Google”as noted on their official blog back in April. The 1,030 granted patents Google bought from IBM cover varied technologies, including…

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