The tech world is constantly changing with mergers, business deals and new product releases. Yet again, Apple hit the front page with its decision to pay dividends and do a $10 billion buyback of its stock. In other news, Twitter celebrated its sixth birthday with 140 million active users, Google hired the Digg founder to enhance Google + and HP is cutting costs by combing its PC and Printer Units.
10. Your Next Tattoo May Vibrate When You Get a Phone Call
Technology is getting under the skin, literally. Nokia filed a patent for the new concept of vibrating tattoo. Nokia’s tattoo patent involves tattooing, tamping or spraying ferromagnetic material onto a user’s skin and then pairing it with a mobile device. Vibrations can be customized for different callers just like ringtones. The tattoo may even replace passwords in the near future. The patent filed by Nokia gives the example of a laptop refusing to display content on its screen unless it verifies its user is close by. But the question is how many users would want to get a tattoo just to be alerted for a call.
9. Zynga buys Draw Something Maker OMGPOP
Zynga is moving from one popular game to another. After the success of “Angry Birds,” Zynga is eyeing OMGPOP, the maker of the hit game “Draw Something” which was downloaded 35 million times making it the best free and paid app available on Apple’s iTunes App Store. The deal is said to have closed with $200 million making it the biggest acquisition for Zynga.
8. Hewlett-Packard Is Said to Combine Its PC and Printing Units
The country’s economic conditions have taken a toll on the tech companies. With lay-offs and mergers, the companies are trying to cut costs. Hewlett-Packard (HP) will be combining its personal-computer units with the division that sells printers in an effort to cut costs and simplify management. The world’s largest PC maker suffered a decline in its sales and profits compelling it to merge the PC and printer divisions. The merger will result in significant layoffs with Vyomesh Joshi (V.J) who runs the HP imaging unit retiring after 31 years. Looks like CEO Meg Whitman is consolidating her power by eliminating another old timer.
7. Windows 8 Readying for October Debut
Microsoft announced that Windows 8 would be up and ready for a release by October 2012. The latest version of Windows Operating System will be enabled to scale to different sizes and more pixel rich screens. With the success of the new iPad’s eye-popping screen, it has competitors like Mircosoft ready to rally back. Window 8 will support retina style displays and will be available in PC’s as well as tablets.
6. Facebook Buys 750 IBM Patents to Defend Against Yahoo
Last week, Yahoo sued Facebook for infringing 10 patents. Facebook, in an effort to save itself bought 750 patents for networking, software and other technologies. It was either settling with Yahoo or licensing its patents to avoid uncertainty heading into its Initial Public Offering (IPO). Instead Facebook chose to boost its patent portfolio from 56 to 800. This way, Facebook can use the patents to counteract Yahoo’s infringement lawsuit against it. Facebook is putting a good face forward for its IPO.
5. Consumer Reports: iPad Runs 12 Degrees Hotter Than Earlier Model
Apple’s new iPad went on sale Friday, and has already received its first complaint. Consumers are complaining that the iPad is heating up 12 degrees more than its predecessor. Apple was quick to brush off the complaint by asking users not to worry about the overheating issues. Consumer reports conducted tests and found that the new iPad can get as hot as 116 Fahrenheit while intense videogames are being played. The heated discussion regarding overheating issues has not affected the sale of the tablet as Apple has reportedly sold $3 million units on its first weekend.
4. Twitter Says It Has 140 Million Users
Twitter celebrated its 6th birthday on Wednesday and declared that it has 140 million active users. Twitter is just behind LinkedIn and ahead of Google+ in the social networking arena. Twitter has played a pivotal role in documenting and even creating current events and culture. The micro blogging site exploded in popularity and attracted 178 million unique visitors across the globe in February. Nevertheless, Twitter lost yet another PR Executive this week.
3. Google Nabs Digg Founder to Boost Google+
Google acquired a few of the engineers from the Milk team including the founder of Digg, Kevin Rose as an effort to improve Google+. Milk, a venture created by Kevin Rose as a lab for experimenting with mobile apps, became known after the “Oink” app. Reportedly, Google hired only the design engineers while other members of the team were laid off. This looks to be a promising venture for Google especially since it acquired the product and design talent from Milk. Hopefully Google+ can get back into the game.
2. Apple to Pay Dividend, Plans $10 Billion Buyback
Under pressure from investors, Apple announced on Monday that it will pay $2.65 per share and do a $10 billion buyback of its stock. The last time Apple paid a dividend was in 1995 when Steve Jobs had joined Apple. After 17 years, the tech giant decided to use the $100 billion cash reserves to pay dividend and buy back stocks. Even with the dividend and the $10 billion stock buyback, CEO Tim Cook was confident that Apple will be able to “maintain a war chest for strategic opportunities and have plenty of cash to run our business.”
1. Step Away From the Tech — Just for a day
The National Day of Unplugging, started by Reboot, a non-profit Jewish organization goes from sundown on Friday to sunset on Saturday. The movement was started to help people slow down from the fast-paced, ever-busy life to spend quality time with their loved ones without any digital distractions. The third annual day National Day of Unplugging collected 1,500 pledges on Causes.com. It is a challenge to those who can live without chocolate and alcohol but cannot switch off their iPads and mobile phones. Take a breath and switch off all the digital devices to enjoy life for 24 hours.