It has been a busy week of acquisitions and lawsuit claims trending in tech news. At the top of the acquisition headlines Cisco will acquire NDS Group and Twitter has a new company under its belt. On the lawsuit front, Yahoo and Facebook are at it again with a new claim over patents. New product launches were announced this week, but Apple’s new iPad continues to dominate the news for a second straight week as the reviews come in. SXSW drew crowds and attention but it is not a big tech launch pad yet.
10. Google in New Privacy Probes
Google is in trouble again for the violation of its privacy issues. The U.S. and European Union are investigating Google for bypassing the privacy settings of millions of users of Apple’s Safari Web browser. It was found that Google was using special computer codes to install tiny tracking files or “cookies” on users’ computers, iPhones and iPads even if the devices were set to block this kind of tracking. Google will have to cough up a hefty sum as fine for the violation of these privacy issues. Google has apologized and agreed to delete all the data that has been collected.
9. Instagram Reaches 27 Million Registered Users and Says Its Android App is Nearly Here
The popular Instagram app that garnered 27 million registered users is now headed towards Android. Kevin Systrome, Co-Founder of Instagram showed off the Instragram App for Andriod phones at the SXSW interactive conference in Austin, Texas. The app currently in private beta, is expected to be one of the best Android Apps. Systrome revealed that the app will be faster and will work well on larger screens with sharing functionality with Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.
8. Apple’s new iPad features touchscreen supplied by Samsung
With more than 20 lawsuits around the globe, Apple and Samsung have always been at a tug-of-war. Despite their differences, they are business partners who supply each other with new business opportunities. Samsung has supplied the touchscreen for the new iPad since LG and Sharp aren’t able to get the touch screens to match the resolution of the new iPad. The new iPad features a touchscreen with a 204 x 1536 pixel resolution, double that offered by the first two generations of iPads.
7. Homeless Hotspots: the best, worst, smartest, dumbest part of SXSW
At SXSW, BBH Labs’ marketing move garnered maximum attention by using several homeless men as hotspots as part of a promotion. Several homeless men from local homeless shelter were seen carrying Verizon MiFis wearing t-shirts printed with their name and information to access Wi-Fi. In addition, the program asked for a suggested donation of $2 per 15 minutes of Wi-Fi via PayPal. The money would go to the person manning the 4G hotspot. This promotion by BBH Lab’s in partnership with Front Steps, a homeless shelter in Austin, Texas was followed by an outburst over objectifying humans for a marketing stunt.
6. Sony Unveils The Xperia Sola: Look, Mom! No Hands!
Sony’s latest product launch is the Xperia Sola. The Android powered smartphone uses a unique technology called ‘floating touch’ that lets users hover over the screen without having to touch it. The floating touch is an attempt to create a touchless technology. A user’s fingers will act as a “moving cursor,” highlighting the link and with a single tap it can be activated. Though Sony is optimistic about its new interface and calls this technology as a “sense of magic,” the practicality and convenience level is still to be ascertained.
5. Dell Looks Beyond PCs With Purchase of SonicWALL
Dell Inc. will reportedly pay $1.2 billion for IT Security firm SonicWALL. Though the actual price has not been disclosed, analysts have valued the deal to be finalized between $1 to 1.5 billion. Dell is building its software portfolio with the acquisition of SonicWALL, a privately held provider of data security measures for businesses. This is the second acquisition since Dell appointed John Swainson as the CEO. Last month, Dell acquired AppAssure, a backup and recovery software company. The transaction is expected to close at the end of the second quarter of Dell’s 2013 fiscal year.
4. Posterous joins the flock at Twitter
Twitter announced on March 12th, that it is officially acquiring competitor Posterous. Twitter blogged, “This (the Posterous team) has built an innovative product that makes sharing across the web and mobile devices simple – a goal we share.” Truly, this merger can help both companies reach a new height.
3. Global Deal: Cisco to Acquire NDS Group Another major acquisition in the tech world has come through. Cisco Inc. has agreed to acquire NDS Group Ltd. for a whopping sum of $4 billion, the biggest deal for Cisco in more than more two years. NDS, the U.K. based video-software maker will be a part of Cisco in the second part of the year. In addition to the $4 billion, Cisco will have to clear nearly $1 billion of debt. However, this acquisition will benefit both the companies. Cisco, drawn to the NDS technology can help grow the NDS’ Videoscape product. As part of the merger, Cisco will get operations in India, China, Israel, the U.K and France as well as about 5, 000 NDS employees who will join Cisco’s video technology for service providers.
2. Yahoo Sues Facebook for Infringing 10 Patents
The major legal battle between the two technology giants, Yahoo and Facebook began when Yahoo sued Facebook concerning 10 patent violations regarding advertising, privacy, customization, messaging and social networking. Yahoo contends that Facebook was “one of the worst-performing Internet sites for advertising” before it started using Yahoo technology.
1. New iPads hits stores Friday The most awaited day finally arrived. Apple’s new iPad hit the stores at 8 a.m. local time. Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue Apple Store saw lines snaked around an entire city block as the doors opened. It also went on sale in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Asia was the first to sample the new iPad. The new iPad simply called the iPad has a screen with 3.1 million pixels, which is 1 million more pixels than on a high-definition TV set. Four times as sharp as the iPad 2, it’s the sharpest ever on any mobile device. Apple has kept the battery life consistent at nine to ten hours even with the 4G LTE wireless. As a result new battery is thicker but only the old iPad users can feel the difference. The good news is that the prices remain the same at $499 for the basic model with 16 GB space and only Wi-Fi.
Disclaimer: Samsung is a Weber Shandwick client.