Sun Microsystems turned a cold shoulder to IBM's formal acquisition offer this weekend, noting that the $7 billion bid was not enough, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. The window of opportunity might be closing for IBM if it's serious about a buyout, as Sun went on to mention it will no longer negotiate exclusively with IBM.
It was reported last month that IBM offered a little less than $10 per share, or nearly double what Sun's stock had been trading at, valuing the deal at close to $7 billion. If completed, IBM and Sun would have accounted for about 65 percent of the market for server computers running Unix and 42 percent of the total server market.
"It's obvious this deal will get a second request (for mor information) from regulators. And once it does, it'll take six months, at a minimum, to a year before a decision is reached," said one attorney who specialized in antitrust matters. "Sun can be twisting in the wind for a year."
It's unclear whether or not Sun would entertain another offer from IBM, or if IBM plans to make another one.
Last week Microsoft and TomTom finally reached a settlement in their ongoing patent dispute. As part of the deal, TomTom will pay Microsoft for patent protection that covers it’s mapping, and file management systems, which as it turns out, are part of the Linux kernel. According to a company spokesperson, TomTom will “remove from its products the functionality related to two file management systems patents over the next two years.” The specific financial terms were not disclosed, but a legal cease fire between the two companies has been agreed upon for a five year period.
"We are pleased TomTom has chosen to resolve the litigation amicably by entering into a patent agreement," Microsoft deputy general counsel Horacio Gutierrez said in a statement. Industry analysts have been following the case very closely, since the Linux Kernel is at the heart of the infringements. This settlement opens the door for Microsoft to go after other firms who use Linux commercially. Microsoft has agreements in place with Linux heavy users such as LG, Samsung, and Xerox, but this victory gives them further ammunition in negotiations that don’t lead to a deal. Though the settlement is a long way from killing Linux commercially, it certainly gives Microsoft a lot more creditability in its ongoing assertions that the Linux kernel violates their intellectual property.
In a flooded smart phone market, Google’s open source approach was a refreshing change, especially given the state of martial law many iPhone user’s live under. But with the removal of the tethering application from the mobile store, many users are starting to question just how open the platform really is. In defense of its actions, Google was forced to cite a passage from its distribution agreement with T-Mobile.
“Google enters into distribution agreements with device manufacturers and Authorized Carriers to place the Market software client application for the Market on Devices. These distribution agreements may require the involuntary removal of Products in violation of the Device manufacturer’s or Authorized Carrier’s terms of service”
When you pair this up with T-Mobiles terms of service which forbids tethering, Google suddenly appears to be legally bound to ban the application. This does however make us wonder what the future of Android will look like on other carriers. Will this lead to carrier specific app stores in the future? Users who purchase unlocked phones and use them on other carriers which permit tethering will probably want access to these types of applications. The big question is will they be able to?
Hot on the lickety-quick heels of the Scout, TF2’s Sniper class is next in line for an update. And if you thought the Scout’s new toys weren’t a big enough deal, you’ll be happy to hear that the Sniper update will be – at the very least – .0001% larger.
"It's actually shaping up to be the largest TF2 update yet, with multiple new maps and a bunch of gameplay tweaks," wrote Greg Cherlin on Valve's Team Fortress blog.
As with other class updates, the update will include unlockable items and a set of class-specific achievements. Maybe a new hat, or support for a large, plastic rifle peripheral, we’re hoping.
But what if you really, truly loathe TF2’s suavest psychopath, and just don’t think your current arsenal allows you to kill him hard enough?
"We've got another update in the works that should be done before the Sniper, and that one will include some new content for all classes," Cherlin explained.
See? Everybody wins. Valve understands the meaning of a good compromise. Giving everyone everything they want – through head-perforating violence!
A Google Street View vehicle came up against a tempestuous, unyielding mob in the British village of Broughton. The Street View car had gone there to collect photographs to be used by the Google Street View service. Google’s ingenious camouflage tactic of leaving the car unmarked failed miserably as its peculiar rooftop camera betrayed the vehicle’s identity and purpose of visit.
The only plausible explanation the tech intelligentsia could muster was that MySpace may be making the change to free the popular MySpace.com domain for a webmail service.
An internal message sent to all MySpace employees, notifying them about the company-wide reassignment of corporate emails, has advanced this theory. “MySpace is migrating from the email@example.com to firstname.lastname@example.org,” MySpace’s parent company Fox Interactive Media announced in the internal email.
If MySpace does roll out a webmail service, it will become the third largest provider from the off. This is because all MySpace users – around 125 million of them - will be assigned an email address by default.
The Acer Hornet will have an asking price of under $300. The petite PC will also have a motion-sensing controller a la Nintendo Wii. The controller is not only meant for gaming but also for generic control. According to Nvidia, the first Ion-based notebooks, netbooks and PCs are just around the corner – to hit retail in the second quarter.
Bandwidth caps are the latest and greatest ways for ISPs to keep people in check, and while some ISPs do have admittedly sizeable caps (such as Comcast’s 250GB/month and AT&T’s slightly less impressive 150GB/month), Time Warner’s is a pathetic 40GB/month, and starting soon, those living in the Lone Star State won’t be the only ones subject to it.
Austin, San Antonio, Rochester, NY and Greensboro, NC will be the next cities that will have to deal with the diminutive bandwidth cap. And, a note to people in these locations, every gig you go over your cap, it’ll cost you a buck.
Now, that’s not to say that a buck all on its own is a big deal, but when you consider that downloading four conservatively sized HD movies, at 5GB a piece, takes up half of your monthly allotment, there’s something to ponder. And, if you enjoy the perks of HD video on Hulu and YouTube, there’s more to worry about. And gamers, if you like to buy your games on Steam, you’d better watch yourselves too! Those megabytes sure can add up quickly, and so can your bill.
Sweden recently enforced a new anti-piracy policy that lets copyright holders quickly acquire the identity of major pirates and prosecute them directly through the courts, without any police intervention at all – and a many took notice.
According to Netnod, a Swedish web tracking firm, web traffic on the day the policy went into place dropped from 120GB/s to 80GB/s. But, the drop is likely temporary according to the VP of Sweden’s (I kid you not) Pirate Party, Christian Engstrom, who states, “Today, there is a very drastic reduction in internet traffic. But experience from other countries suggests that while file-sharing drops on the day a law is passed, it starts climbing again… One of the reasons is that it takes people a few weeks to figure out how to change their security settings so that can share files anonymously.”
Still, the law has been under fire due to its allowing major corporations to circumvent the police by means of direct lawsuits. Obtaining specific information is as easy as going to the uploader’s ISP, who will then get his IP and identity.
What do you think? Is it fair to let copyright holders protect their products at any cost, or is it the beginning of a long line of abuse from major corporations? Let us know after the jump.
As Engadget puts it, the Windows Mobile news coming out of this week's CTIA Wireless 2009 trade show can be summed up in two words: "pretty" and "support" (for the upcoming Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system).
Want a phone where "pretty" is more than case-deep? Designer Isaac Mizrahi, Design Museum London, and the Council of Fashion Designers are teaming up with Redmond to create fashionable wallpapers for the 6.5 version of Windows Mobile. On the support side, Microsoft announced support from over 25 companies for its Windows Mobile Marketplace (Word 2003 DOC link).
For more about what Redmond put on display, join us after the jump.