Wink Seeks White Knight

Dave Zatz —  July 25, 2015 — 11 Comments

Perhaps due to frustrating and unreliable home automation products that seemingly haven’t caught on combined with some bad bets by Quirky, Wink appears to be in dire straights – despite cash infusions from GE and a decent retail footprint. Amidst that backdrop, Michal Wolf wonders who might step in to pick up the pieces and walks us through a variety of large companies … that probably have zero interest.

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Qualcomm May Split Itself

Reuters —  July 22, 2015 — 1 Comment

By Lehar Maan and Anya George Tharakan

(Reuters) – Chipmaker Qualcomm Inc <QCOM.O> said it may break itself up as it delivered its third profit warning this year and announced plans to slash jobs and spending in the face of rising competition. The company said it would reduce costs by about $1.4 billion, cut about 4,500 full-time staff, or 15 percent of its workforce, and boost capital returns to shareholders. Qualcomm’s shares fell 1.8 percent to $63.05 in after-market trading on Wednesday. The stock has lost a fifth of its value in a year.

hadron

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Another day, another interesting trademark to mull over. And like TiVo Bolt, we don’t have much to go on here with Echostar AirTV.

Computer hardware and software for streaming audio and video content to a variety of network devices, namely, personal computers, mobile phones, tablet computers and stand-alone hardware decoders

So it sounds a lot like Miracast screensharing, versus Chromecast beam and control. Could this be something offered by sister company DISH Network or might there be some interplay here with Echostar’s very own Sling Media Slinbox group? Hm.

(Reuters) – Verizon Communications Inc reported a better-than-expected rise in quarterly profit as more users signed up for its postpaid wireless services and subscriber defections fell to a three-year low.

The biggest U.S. wireless service provider added 1.1 million wireless retail postpaid subscribers – those who pay each billing cycle based on usage – on a net basis in the second quarter, in line with estimates from analysts polled by market research firm FactSet StreetAccount.

Customer defections, also known as churn in the telecommunications industry, for Verizon’s wireless postpaid business dipped to 0.90 percent versus the 0.99 percent estimated by FactSet. Continue Reading…

(Reuters) – Ex-Chrysler Group <FCHA.MI> executive Doug Betts has joined IPhone-maker Apple Inc <AAPL.O>, according to the auto industry veteran’s LinkedIn profile. Betts’ account on the social networking website for professionals said he joined the Cupertino, California-based company with the title of ‘Operations – Apple Inc’ in July. The online profile did not provide much detail about the move but stated Betts’ location to be San Francisco Bay Area.

Apple, which is known to be secretive about its projects, added to the speculation when a senior executive in May said that developing a car would be the “ultimate mobile device.” Analysts and investors have been touting car manufacturing as the next growth avenue for Apple. Continue Reading…

Disappointed that the ad-free Slingbox you purchased was suddenly inundated with banner ads and pre-roll video commercials? Well, you’re not alone. And two customers have taken these infractions to court via a class action suit.

“Sling Media failed to disclose that the use of the product would be contingent upon and subject the purchaser to unrequested advertising from Defendant. Since approximately March 17, 2015, Sling Media suddenly began broadcasting such unrequested spam advertisements to users of its Slingboxes. Slingbox has perpetuated a massive ‘bait and switch’ upon thousands of unsuspecting consumers […] who now need to watch the defendant’s ads to use their devices as promised.”

[…]

The plaintiffs are seeking an injunction against Sling Media to produce and stream future original advertising through Slingbox without prior consent from purchasers. They also seek restitution and disgorgement of all profits garnered from the allegedly misleading business practices and commandeering of the devices, as well as interest and attorneys’ fees.

Perhaps Echostar’s Sling Media knew this day was coming… due to the introduction of the Slingbox M2, which looks just like the M1 yet is described as ad-supported. In any event, I won’t need to join the “class” as, for the first time since 2005, I am Slingbox-less — partially due to these gross intrusions.

By way of the US Patent & Trademark office, we see that TiVo has submitted not one but four applications for a “TiVo Bolt” trademark. As their “late July” Aereo news announcement approaches (and assuming they’re still on schedule), I figured there was no way in hell TiVo could launch an online video subscription service to rival Sling TV as they target cordcutters… but, they seem to open that very door via verbiage found in the most interesting of the filings:

Subscription television broadcasting services; cable television transmission of personalized and interactive television programming

tivo-bolt

And the rest: Continue Reading…

By Devika Krishna Kumar

(Reuters) – Google Inc’s <GOOGL.O> shares closed up 16.3 percent at $699.62 on Friday, adding about $65 billion to its market value, as strong growth in YouTube viewership eased investor concerns about Facebook Inc’s <FB.O> push into video.

Google’s class A shares chalked up their largest single-day percentage change in more than seven years on Friday.The surge, which comes a day after it reported better-than-expected profit for the first time in six quarters, sent the Nasdaq composite index to a record intraday high. Continue Reading…