Internet giants Facebook and Amazon announced new ventures: Amazon launched its first social game created by its own gaming studios and Facebook released its first real money gambling app in the U.K. In other news, Apple and Amazon addressed security flaws after a tech journalist’s ‘epic’ hack story caused widespread concern over digital privacy. The Google-Oracle patent infringement case also took a new twist.
10. Apple, Google reportedly to bid for Kodak patents
Opening bids for Kodak’s digital patents came in far below the company’s $2.6 billion estimate. Kodak received two bids from investor groups including Apple and Google for $150 million to $250 million. The initial bids may be just enough to repay the creditors.
9. HP raises forecast, takes $8 billion charge
HP announced it would write down the value of its services segment by about $8 billion, emphasizing the division’s struggles and its overly expensive Electronic Data System (EDS) acquisition four years ago. The PC maker raised its outlook and warned it would incur a higher than expected charge in its third quarter due to its ongoing restructuring efforts. The company anticipates the turnaround to take about three to five years.
8. Google to pay $22.5 million in FTC settlement
Google has agreed to pay a $22.5 million penalty to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for ignoring security settings designed to prevent advertisers from tracking users with cookies in Apple’s Safari web browser. The penalty imposed by the FTC is the largest ever issued; however, the fine will not carry any serious threat to the company.
7. Android dominates the smartphone market
The success of Samsung’s Android phones has helped Google’s operating system extend its dominance in the smartphone market. Research firm IDC revealed that four Android phones for every iPhone were shipped in the second quarter. A senior research analyst at IDC pointed out that the mobile OS market is now “unquestionably a two-horse race” due to the dominance of Android, with iOS close behind.
6. Starbucks partners with Square as it takes a step forward towards mobile wallet
Starbucks is partnering with Square to process transactions in its stores and investing $25 million in the mobile payments company as part of the deal. Starting this fall, Starbucks stores in the U.S. will begin accepting payments from the “Pay with Square” app, which links to users’ credit cards and lets them pay by app. Check out how you can pay for your double shot grande latte without having to swipe your credit card.
5. Apple, Amazon fix security flaw after epic hack
The story of a tech journalist’s online life erased by hackers who used loopholes in Apple and Amazon’s customer policies has caused concern over digital safety. Apple told users it has now boosted its security after hiccups in iCloud made it easy for hackers to access the journalist’s Amazon and social media accounts. In the wake of the hack, Amazon has quietly made changes to its customer policy as well. Check out eight ways to protect your online life.
4. Apple to pull YouTube app from devices
The rift between Apple and Google just got a little wider. Apple announced that it will not include the YouTube app in iOS 6, the next version of its operating system for iPhone and iPad. Although YouTube has been an integral part of iOS since the launch of the first-generation iPhone, Apple emphasized users have other ways to watch YouTube videos, such as a standalone app by Google in the App Store or in their Safari browser.
3. Google, Oracle patent and copyright infringement case takes an unexpected twist
The two-year copyright and patent battle between the Silicon Valley tech titans took a strange twist when the court ordered the concerned parties to disclose any payments made to authors, journalists and bloggers who have reported or published comments about Oracle’s copyright infringement case over Google’s Android software. The order comes several months after a jury found that Google did not infringe on Oracle’s patents. If either Google or Oracle sponsored an article that potentially influenced a member of the jury or was entered into the case as evidence, the order will have a great impact on the case moving forward.
2. Facebook lets you gamble with real money – in the UK
In an effort to boost its revenue, Facebook has partnered with Gamesys, a London-based online gaming company to allow British users to wager real money in a gambling game titled “Bingo & Slots Friendzy.” Facebook will allow users aged 18 and older to play with cash instead of Facebook credits while the social networking giant collects 30 percent of the money made by the app.
1. Amazon jumps into social games, creates Amazon Game Studios
Move over Zynga, Amazon has entered the social gaming arena. Earlier this week, Amazon launched a Facebook game titled “Living Classics,” created by its own gaming studios. The online retailer ventured into social gaming, as it believes it can deliver a “great, accessible gaming experience.” With its Kindle Fire offering a solid tablet experience, it probably won’t be too long before Amazon Game Studios cranks out a mobile game of its own.
Disclosure: Amazon Web Services, Amazon Game Studios and Google (Motorola Mobility) are Weber Shandwick clients.