In November of last year, Intel's Atom processor was noted as being largely responsible for record growth in the processor market. While no more records are being broken, the processor market continues its upward climb -- to the tune of 10.1 percent in the second quarter of this year -- and once again, Intel's Atom chip is the reason why.
"The percentage of Intel's revenue earned in Asia/Pacific grew from 51 percent in 1Q09 to 55 percent in 2009," Shane Rau, director of Semiconductors: Personal Computing research at IDC, noted in a statement. "This fact, combined with the significant sequential 'snap-back' rise in Intel's overall processor shipments -- particularly Atom shipments -- while AMD's overall shipments were about flat, indicate that the PC processor market didn't recover in 2Q09."
The growth from Q1 to Q2, notes IDC, is mostly attributable to manufacturers replenishing their chip inventory rather than increased consumer demand for PCs. Predicting that most OEMs have now balanced their inventories, IDC says going forward we're more likely to see what the actual demand really is.
Lenovo reported a net loss of $16 million, or 18 cents a share, in the first fiscal quarter on revenue of $3.5 billion, representing an 18 percent decline. The reason, says Lenovo, is because of weak enterprise spending.
What's interesting to note is that Lenovo actually leads the commercial market in China by extending PCs to the countryside and is also doing well with 3G mobile adoption, but the company continues to struggle in mature markets like the U.S. and Europe, CNet reports.
Moving forward, Lenovo says it expects enterprise spending to remain weak in its second fiscal quarter, which the company intends to cope with by cutting costs. Whether or not this might also include job cuts, Lenovo didn't say.
Google this week announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire On2 Technologies, a video compression technology company which holds licenses for Adobe for Flash video, Sun Microsystems for Java-FX, Skype for video conferencing, and Movie Networks for delivering HD web TV.
"Today video is an essential part of the web experience, and we believe high-quality video compression technology should be part of the web platform," said Sundar Pichai, Vice President, Product Management, Google. "We are committed to innovation in video quality on the web, and we believe that On2's team and technology will help us further that goal."
On2 stockholders will receive shares of Google class A common stock, the number of which will be determined by dividing $0.60 per share by the volume weighted average trading price during the twenty trading-day period ending on and including the second trading day prior to meeting with On2's stock holders to vote on the merger agreement, Google says.
The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2009.
In October of last year, Google reached a $125 million settlement as part of a three-year-old class action lawsuit accusing the search engine giant of infringing publisher and author copyrights with its library-digitizing Book Search project. But that would be far from the end of things. Last month, the Department of Justice confirmed it had launched a formal investigation into the settlement to see if it could find any evidence of anticompetitive practices, and if Google was looking for sympathy, it would be hard pressed to find any (read what Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had to say on the matter here).
But despite all the negative publicity -- or perhaps because of it -- Google maintains it isn't doing anything wrong and denies any talk of a monopoly.
"Of course, no one wants Google to monopolize the poor orphans," said Dan Clancy, engineering director of Google Book Search. "And I don't want to be -- what's the woman in Little Orphan Annie that runs the orphanage? I'm blanking -- I don't want to be her."
Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive, which also owns a book scanning operation, sees things decidedly different than Google does. Not only will the settlement create a monopoly, but it will create two of them, Kahle says. Kahle believes Google will have a monopoly on orphans and the Book Rights Registry, as well as a second one that encompasses all rights holders who agree to join.
"Google will have permission to bring under its sole control information that has been accessible through public institutions for centuries. In essence, Google will be privatizing our libraries," Kahle wrote in the Washington Post.
Where do you stand on the issue? Hit the jump and sound off.
Acer appears to be weathering the global economic downturn just fine, thanks in no small part to its mobile PC business. Last December, the OEM became the new netbook top dog, supplanting Asus for the No. 1 spot in units shipped despite carrying a single netbook model versus Asus' bazillion Eee PCs, and the future looks just as bright.
Citing "market watchers," news and rumor site says Acer is on track to ship somewhere between 8-9 million notebooks. That number is all encompassing and includes both netbooks and ultra-thin models in addition to standard laptops.
The sources attribute the large number of shipments to rebounding demand in Europe, which helped Acer record about 2.5-2.7 million units shipped in July alone.
While it will be a few more days until we have official word from Radio Shack, it looks as though the popular brick and mortar electronics chain will attempt to change its image through a rebranding. Starting August 6th (this Thursday), the store name will be shortened to "The Shack."
Details are light at best, but according to Electronista, the name change will apply to the entire store network, which will be reflected in displays later this week and updated signs by the end of the year. Only the corporate infrastructure will retain the old naming scheme, Electronista reports.
It's hard to argue against the name change, as we can't remember the last time we shopped an actual radio. The name change will reflect this, as well as the chain's greater focus on the mobile market, which will kick into high gear later this week. A special website hinting at the name change has been put up to promo the store's upcoming 'netogether,' a "massive event" that "will connect New York and San Francisco via larger-than-life laptops."
Last month, Global Gaming Factory announced plans to purchase The Pirate Bay and steer the online ship towards legal waters. To that end, Wayne Rosso, former CEO of Grokster, was hired to help relaunch the site and close deals with record labels, but Rosso has instead decided to walk away from the project.
"We decided that we're not going to risk our reputation further," Rosso told TorrentFreak.com. "The more time we spent with Mr. Pandeya, the less confident we were. I don't think there's going to be any money raised with GGF's current (lack of) plans."
Rosso claims that he and his partners never received the payments promised to them by Hans Pandeya, CEO of GGF. Rosso also claims Pandeya broke several other promises made to him, but did not elaborate on what they were.
Still, The Pirate Bay's legitimate future might not be completely dead in the water, but it's definitely sinking. According to TorrentFreak.com, a Pirate Bay insider indicated the site has given GGF a week to get insurance from investors before pulling the deal off the table.
It's hard to imagine anyone being stoked about losing $611 million in a quarter, unless you're part of a group of DRAM makers who were expecting to lose much more.
According to news and rumor site DigiTimes, Taiwan's major DRAM chip makers -- Inotera Memories, Nanya Technology, Powerchip Semiconductor Corporation (PSC), and ProMOS Technologies -- will post combined losses of more than NT$20 billion, or roughly $611 million USD, for the second quarter of 2009. As bad as that sounds, market watchers were anticipating losses adding up to NT$30.7 billion, or about $938 million USD.
And it hasn't been all losses for memory chip makers. Both A-Data Technology and Transcend Information continue to see profits for the second quarter, perhaps indicating that the worst might finally be over.
Verizon on Monday said it plans to cut more than 8,000 employee and contractor jobs before the end of the year in the wireline business, which it hopes will speed up efforts to keep costs in line, according to chief financial officer John Killian. But unlike in recent years, the company has no plans of offsetting the wireline layoffs with hiring in its wireless business.
"We probably will not have large-scale hiring until we're out of the recession," said Denny Strigl, Verizon's Chief Operating Officer.
The news comes after the nation's largest wireless carrier reported a 21 percent drop in second-quarter profit, although the company's earnings did creep slightly higher than Wall Street expectations. Verizon earned $1.48 billion, or 52 cents per share, in the three months ended June 30, down from $1.88 billion, or 66 cents per share, a year ago.
Revenue rose 11 percent to $26.86 billion from $24.1 billion a year ago, which is what Wall Street had expected. Much of that increase can be attributed to the purchase of Alltel in January, otherwise revenue would have only increased 1.9 percent.
Nobody knows what to expect from Microsoft's branded retail stores scheduled to roll out sometime this fall, but the company's been making some very interesting moves, the latest of which includes hiring George Blankenship to help with the launch. If that name sounds at all familiar, it's because Blankenship is a former Apple executive who also helped launch Apple's retail presence back in 2001.
Microsoft so far has declined to say what Blankenship's exact role will be, but given the success of Apple's store fronts, it's probably a safe bet he'll perform some of the same tasks as before, including helping to select the best locations.
"We're doing stuff and we're in the game and continuing to take some these hard market-share opportunities head on and compete because it's a test of will," said Kevin Turner, Microsoft's chief operating officer.
During Turner's Worldwide Partner Conference keynote earlier this month, the CEO said the first Microsoft store will open right next to an Apple store.