Toyota Hires Entire Staff of Autonomous Vehicle Company

Countless vehicle manufacturers are all racing to develop the newest and greatest self-driving cars. While they may spend large amounts of money and effort on a number of other great life-improving developments, Toyota shouldn’t be counted out of the competition yet. Taking them one step closer to their goal of having a road-ready autonomous car by 2020, they have welcomed all 16 members of Jaybridge Robotics’ engineering team to work on their own in-house self-driving car development program. This is not an acquisition of the entire company however, with Jaybridge continuing to support their existing client base for the foreseeable future.

“Where Jaybridge has historically limited its focus to industrial applications such as agriculture and mining, TRI is going after the big one: helping to reduce the nearly 1.25 million traffic fatalities each year, worldwide. We couldn’t be more excited.” stated Jaybridge CEO Jeremy Brown

The staff acquired from Jaybridge include experts with decades of experience in developing, testing, and supporting autonomous vehicle products, who will be joining the existing members of the Toyota Research Institute (TRI) at its research center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, near MIT. This research center is already involved in collaborative development with the nearby universities in a number of fields including AI and robotics, to which they have already pledged $1 billion to support.

These new hires will be fully involved in the development that is ongoing there, as well as working closely with other TRI facilities across the US and other Toyota research and development teams worldwide, meaning we could see some exciting results sooner rather than later.

IBM Acquire Resilient Systems and Gain Security Expert Bruce Schneier

IBM has announced today that they will be acquiring Resilient Systems and as well as the company, they will be bringing one of the biggest names in the security world on board, Bruce Schneier.

Resilient Systems specialize in developing an incident response platform that orchestrates and automates incident response processes in the case of cyber incidents including security breaches and loss of devices carrying vital data. Integrating the talents and platform of Resilient Systems into IBM Security gives them the first fully end-to-end system that combines analytics, forensics, vulnerability management and incident response in the industry said IBM.

Part of the deal for the acquisition includes plans by IBM to bring on board Resilient’s full staff of around 100 people, including Bruce Schneier, cryptography and security expert and CTO of Resilient. Exactly when the deal would be closed was not revealed by IBM, nor were any further details of the terms between the two companies.

This is just the latest step by IBM to bolster their abilities in the field of security, already hiring over 1000 security experts in the last year and appointing Mark van Zadelhoff as the manager of the security division. Monday also saw the launch of IBM X-Force Incident Response Services which aims to work with clients to assist them in planning for, managing and responding to cyber attacks. The Resilient Incident Response Platform, as well as IBM’s QRadar Security Intelligence Platform, will both be a key part of these services, with the technologies planned to be integrated across IBM’s full security portfolio.

In the modern corporate world, where it is quickly becoming a case of how to respond to and handle cyber-attacks instead of just defending against them, the acquisition of Resilient helps IBM to provide an even greater security service to their customers.

Processor Design Expert from AMD and Apple Hired by Tesla

The race to develop self-driving cars is very competitive, with a growing number of companies doing their utmost to beat out the competition to develop the technology. One company, in particular, is taking self-driving car technology very seriously, Tesla, who have already rolled out a very limited form of the technology to their popular Model S. Now according to Electrek, Elon Musk’s car company have recently hired a veteran of processor design, Jim Keller to assume the lead of their Autopilot hardware engineering team.

Exactly what Keller will be working on a Tesla is currently undisclosed, with there being no implications that Tesla will be developing in-house microprocessors to use in their vehicles’ systems. Self-driving systems like Tesla’s Autopilot certainly require a lot of processing power in a tight space, however, and Tesla intends to make full use of Keller’s hardware engineering experience and especially his low-power design expertise.

Keller himself is a renowned and respected figure in his field, having worked on a number of AMD’s flagship processors over the years, including their upcoming Zen architecture. Not only that, but he has held a high-profile engineering role at Apple where he played a crucial role in the development of their A4 and A5 processors, which went on to power most of Apple’s mobile devices and Apple TVs from 2010 to 2012.

Could Keller’s expertise be just what Tesla needs to transform their Autopilot technology from a limited option to a fully fledged driving assist or self-driving system? The right hardware could allow the company to solve the tough computational problems that come with such systems.

Intel Buys Altera for $16.7 Billion

Altera, the US-based manufacturer of programmable logic devices, has been purchased by Intel in an all-cash deal worth $16.7 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal (paywalled, via Engadget).

“Altera is now part of Intel, and together we will make the next generation of semiconductors not only better but able to do more,” Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel, said in a press release. “We will apply Moore’s Law to grow today’s FPGA business, and we’ll invent new products that make amazing experiences of the future possible – experiences like autonomous driving and machine learning.”

The deal, which is the biggest in Intel’s history, will unify Intel’s Xeon processors with Altera’s field programmable gate arrays, which are already in use together by tech giants such as Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, unifying the conjunction under one commercial banner. Intel will begin selling the pair as a bundle to start with, but aims to unify the systems into a single chip in due course.

“As part of Intel, we will create market-leading programmable logic devices that deliver a wider range of capabilities than customers experience today,” Dan McNamara, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the Programmable Solutions Group at Intel, and former Altera employee, added. “Combining Altera’s industry-leading FPGA technology and customer support with Intel’s world-class semiconductor manufacturing capabilities will enable customers to create the next generation of electronic systems with unmatched performance and power efficiency.”

Dell to Acquire EMC for $50 Billion

In what is expected to be one of the largest tech takeovers ever, Dell is set to wholly acquire enterprise giant EMC on Monday. This follows up a string of other storage-related acquisitions and purchases as well as others relating to computing as a whole. Dell itself was also taken over not too long ago by founder Michael Dell who took the company private with help from Silver Lake.

Dell managed to regain control of his namesake company back in 2013 with a $25 billion investment. At double that amount, EMC may prove a tough pill to swallow. No one knows the pains of acquiring a company valued over twice of their own than AMD, who suffered massive issues in the wake of their relatively miniscule $5.6 billion takeover of ATI. At double its value, the EMC purchase will rely heavily on bonds, something that may be risky given the current financial situation.

The move to acquire Dell does make a whole lot of sense as firm pivots away from a consumer focus and towards the more lucrative enterprise market. EMC either owns or holds a stake in a wide range of enterprise business with names like VMware, RSA Security, Iomega and Syncplicity. It will be interesting to see how these two tech giants merge and manage their huge portfolio.

Thank you re/code for providing us with this information 

Tsinghua Group Look to Acquire SanDisk and Toshiba

China is looking to expand heavily into the storage industry with the latest acquisition rumour. According to the report, Tsinghua Group, a Chinese government-controlled investment group is looking into acquiring either SanDisk or Toshiba to get access to their NAND technology. Both Toshiba and SanDisk currently work together in a joint venture to research, develop and produce NAND memory. Other notable NAND firms are Intel and Micron (IMFT), Samsung and SK Hynix.

Tsinghua Group had earlier been looking to buy up Micron Technologies, another major NAND player. Those talks over a $23 billion deal fell apart after the US government stepped in over national security concerns. This time around, the United States won’t be able to intervene as neither firms are American. SanDisk a South Korean firm while Toshiba is Japanese. Still both of those countries may still have some issues about national security.

Of the two, it is most likely for a South Korean SanDisk deal to go through. Those two nations are on friendlier terms relatively speaking and South Korea still has Samsung and SK Hynix to rely on for national security procurement. Whether or not South Korea will want to see on their tech firms go foreign is an entirely different matter.

Thank you DigiTimes for providing us with this information 

Private Investment Firm Silver Lake May Take 20% Stake in AMD

Big changes are happening down at AMD with the creation of the new Radeon Technologies Group announced earlier. While such a move will probably pay dividends in the future, it does nothing to solve current issues. In the short-term, AMD looks to be getting a major investor to tide them over till their 2016 products launch. What is interesting is that it’s a private investment firm known for acquiring companies and taking them private.

According to a report, Silver Lake, the same firm that helped Michael Dell take back his company, is set to take a 20% stake in AMD. At this point, it is unknown how Silver Lake will be acquiring those share, with purchases either from other investors, on the open market or from AMD. AMD itself only owns 18.9% of their shares so the new 20% stake will probably come from a variety of sources. If AMD does issue new shares or sell their own shares, that will raise some much-needed cash to boost R&D as well as other expenses.

If Silver Lake does invest in AMD, it will join the likes of Alibaba, Avago, GoDaddy, Motorola Solutions and Opera Solutions as firms which Silver Lake has invested in. With a 20% stake, Silver Lake may get a seat on the board of directors and more restructuring will probably occur as AMD struggles in the face of stiff competition.

Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with this information

Microsoft Rumored to Buyout AMD

It seems that not a day goes by without another rumour or report about someone looking to buy out AMD. According to sources, Microsoft is in talks with AMD about an acquisition which isn’t the first time we’ve heard. A little over 2 months ago, rumours were also abounding that Microsoft was in talks to acquire AMD, but nothing has come out of it yet. This time around, it is very much more of the same so don’t expect anything unless we get more concrete information.

Given Microsoft’s relatively massive expenditures already to acquire Minecraft, and Nokia, spending another few billion (AMD market capitalization is $1.6 Billion) wouldn’t be too much. With AMD under their control, Microsoft would be able to guarantee supply for their consoles and data center business as well as produce custom chips. It would also give the Xbox an edge against the next PlayStation in potentially both performance and cost. With promising 16nm products and Zen in the pipeline, a cash infusion and new organizing structure might be just what AMD needs to become competitive in the long run.

A big hurdle would likely be regulatory approval as a software giant moving into the hardware space as well might prove problematic. Locking out competitors like Sony from custom chips or tailoring Windows to run better on AMD hardware (or vice versa) might be considered anti-competitive or monopolistic. Even if Microsoft won’t use such tactics, sheer concern might prevent an acquisition from occurring. This only leaves acquiring AMD but letting it operate independently as the sole option. The biggest question is whether or not Microsoft sees acquiring AMD as a good move and given CEO Nadella’s focus on services, it remains to be seen if Microsoft wants to take on even more hardware business.

Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with this information

BT Confirmed to be in Talks to Buy EE

Just a few days after we reported on the news that BT is in talks to purchase O2, it’s now been confirmed that they’re also interested in Everything Everywhere – EE.

Deutsche Telekom and Orange, the two owners of EE, say that they are in the early “exploratory” stages of acquisition talks.

“Deutsche Telekom AG and Orange SA are having  highly preliminary exploratory discussions with British Telecom,  although it is too early to state whether any transaction may occur.  Deutsche Telekom and Orange will make further announcements if and when appropriate.”

This wave of acquisition talks from BT has come as no surprise. BT’s main source of income, landlines, has obviously been in decline with the rise of mobile devices and communication. That’s why many are seeing this as BT’s way of staying relevant in this new mobile world.

Source: The Next Web

 

Microsoft Rumoured to be Buying the Makers of Minecraft for a Substantial Amount

Reports are swirling that Microsoft is in the final stages of buying Mojang AB; the makers of the extremely popular Minecraft video game. According to the Wall Street Journal, the buyout would value Mojang at over $2 billion US – and the deal could be signed on the dotted line between the two companies as early as this week. The Stockhold-based Mojang Studio reportedly had $100 million in profit last year.

The acquisition would help boost Microsoft’s Game Studio clout – adding another wildly popular franchise under its belt. However the reports are also currently claiming that the deal would still see Minecraft being developed cross-platform – which is good news for everyone who enjoys the game. The move is rather surprising – given the fact that Mojang founder Markkus “Notch” Persson has always championed the indie gaming scene – and has avidly spoken out about taking venture capital. In more recent times, he’s also heavily criticized Microsoft’s Windows 8 for potentially being “very, very bad for indie games.”

Both Mojang and Microsoft have so far declined to comment publicly on the matter.

Thank you Wall Street Journal for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Mojang AB.

Chinese Ministry of Commerce Approves Lenovo’s IBM x86 Unit Acquisition


The Chinese government has approved Lenovo’s acquisition of IBM’s x86 low-end server unit, with the Chinese Ministry of Commerce recently giving Lenovo its blessing.

The United States government is still investigating the $2.3 billion (£1.3 billion) acquisition, though will likely approve it.  Lenovo hopes to complete the deal by the end of 2014, giving it time to begin rolling out servers to businesses.  The IBM brand should continue alongside the LenovoEMC network storage devices and other similar products.

Lenovo is the No. 1 global PC manufacturer, but has struggled to keep up with Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and other server manufacturers.  If the deal is approved, however, it’s possible U.S. federal departments and the military will shy away from Lenovo products.

It appears the US government wants to just torment the Chinese government as both sides go back and forth regarding cyberespionage and spying antics.  The US and other western nations spent years calling out Beijing for its organized cyberattacks and intellectual property theft – but was left with egg on its face after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed mass surveillance abuses.

Meanwhile, Lenovo has greatly expanded its product portfolio, becoming extremely popular among consumers and in the workplace.  In the consumer market, expect a bigger western push of tablets and smartphones – while the company also pushes its retail partners and value-added resellers (VARs) to promote Lenovo servers for companies.

Thank you to TechRadar for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Business Insider

Lenovo Still Expects to Close Purchase of IBM Server Unit By End of 2014


Despite the United States government currently investigating Lenovo’s attempted acquisition of IBM’s x86 low-end server unit, Lenovo executives believe the deal should be completed by the end of 2014.

Analysts expect the deal to finally be approved, but political tensions between Washington and Beijing have been strained due to cyberespionage accusations being lobbed by both sides.

Here is what Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing said during a recent news conference:

“There is no change to the plan.  We are still confident that we can complete the two transactions by the end of this year.  We are making very good progress in obtaining approvals for the deals.”

Yang didn’t discuss any potential security concerns, which is reportedly the biggest sticking point the U.S. legislators are worried about.  There were similar concerns when Lenovo and IBM struck a deal in 2005, but cyberespionage and security are more pressing issues today.

Lenovo, the No. 1 PC manufacturer in the world, has used acquisitions to boost its own technology portfolio, previously purchasing IBM’s PC unit.  Even though Lenovo is the largest PC manufacturer, the company is trying to catch up to Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and others in the server business – a lucrative market focused on small and midsize businesses up to corporations.

Thank you to Market Watch for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of The Star

Google Will Acquire 5.94% Share In Lenovo As Part Of Motorola Sale Deal

Lenovo and Google recently announced a deal that sees Lenovo purchase Motorola from Google. The deal is worth a cool $2.91 billion from a combination of cash and stock payments. According to Reuters the details of the deal mean that Google will end up with a 5.94 percent share in Lenovo Group Limited of China worth $750 million – which is approximately a quarter of the value of the entire $2.91 billion deal.

Google will be acquiring 618.3 million Lenovo shares at $1.213 per share and this was confirmed by Hong Kong’s stock exchange late on Thursday evening. The move to acquire shares in Lenovo would suggest that Google has strong intentions of cooperating further with Lenovo in future. Who knows Lenovo may join the likes of ASUS and LG as a big Google hardware partner.

Image courtesy of TechCrunch

Amazon Acquires Gaming Studio Double Helix

Amazon have snapped up Double Helix Games in a deal that was to gain them some extra talent as well as the companies IP’s. It is not known how much the deal was worth, but given the studios history and the skill of its 75 strong team we imagine it wasn’t especially cheap.

All the members of Double Helix Games team will now become Amazon employees, but will remain working from their home in Orange County, there is just a new overseer taking and paying the cheques. What is interesting is that this is adding fuel to the fire that Amazon are preparing to launch their own games console later this year.

With Amazon rumoured to launch an Android powered console which personally I couldn’t care less about given the constant appearance, then failure of countless other devices in the low-cost console market. But with a great developer on board, they may actually have a chance at having some good titles, so who knows, maybe it won’t be complete garbage like some of the other efforts we’ve seen hit the market.

Double Helix Games have a great history, the company is made up from the studios Shiny and The Collective which merged a few years back. Between them they’ve created games like MDK, Earthworm Jim, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Killer Instinct, Silent Hill: Homecoming and a whole lot more. Plus they also have their next title Strider hitting the PS3 later this month.

Amazon are a great owner to have, they’ve got the finances to really push things to the next level, so it could be an interesting future for Double Helix, lets just hope it’s because the Amazon bosses are Earth Worm Jim fans and want to make a new game in that series… fingers crossed.

Thank you Tech Crunch for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Tech Crunch.

Lenovo Aims To Crush Apple and Samsung Following Motorola Mobility Acquisition

Following the acquisition of Motorola Mobility from Google along with its share of patents, Chinese manufacturer Lenovo now reveals some big plans. Lenovo CEO Yuanqing Yang gave an interview with Fortune regarding the deal where he talked about his plans to over take his biggest competitors, Apple and Samsung.

By acquiring Motorola Mobility, Lenovo became the third largest smartphone maker worldwide, and when asked how he feels about catching up to his top-seated competitors, Yang said his company’s “mission is to surpass them.” It sounds as though Lenovo will market its smartphones with the Motorola brand, likely a smart choice considering Motorola’s pedigree.

However, Yang also mentioned there was some uncertainty regarding this issue still, saying the company will most likely “leverage the Motorola brand, but it could be something like ‘Motorola by Lenovo.'” Yang also told Fortune a little bit about how Lenovo became interested in Motorola when it split into Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions back in 2011, as well other plans regarding branding in certain countries.

There will still be a waiting period while US regulatory groups finally green light the deal, according to reports the purchase will go through a review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a group responsible for ensuring there are no national security risks taken through deals of this nature.

Thank you Tech Spot for providing us with this information

Google Rumored To Be Looking Into Purchasing Wearable Tech Companies

It seems clear that Google does not want to deal in smartphone manufacturing, as seen in the recent Motorola Mobility sale. Latest news report that Google is planning to use Nest as its gadget hardware team, but a new report says that Google may also be looking at purchasing wearable tech companies.

According to The Information sources, Google is planning such a move, but the report doesn’t mention what companies are on Google’s list. It does state that Google CEO Larry Page is “serious about making a move” though. Despite the news that it is selling Motorola, Google reconfirmed its dedication to wearables and Google Glass during its earnings call, stating that Nest will play a role in the hardware innovation at Google. And, of course the Advanced Technology Projects group from Motorola which was in charge of the very interesting modular phone Project Ara will also be staying with Google.

There were also rumors that Google is working on a smartwatch in-house (since even Asus is planning to release a smartwatch this year), so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Google going after a team that has experience with watches, perhaps Pebble since they had a some success with their products (and they also look good). Google has plenty of cash though, so if Larry Page is really “serious”, we likely won’t have to wait long to find out the plan.

Thank you Phonearena for providing us with this information

Twitter and IBM Agree On Deal For 900 Patents, Gives Twitter More IP Protection

Twitter has acquired over 900 patents from IBM. The deal, which includes a cross-license agreement, was made last month, but the two companies have now formally announced it. IBM has received more patents in the U.S. than any other company for 21 consecutive years.

“This acquisition of patents from IBM and licensing agreement provides us with greater intellectual property protection and gives us freedom of action to innovate on behalf of all those who use our service.” said Twitter Legal Director, Ben Lee.

Twitter revealed that IBM had issued a letter to the company alleging that it was infringing upon at least three of its patents, but “inviting” Twitter to negotiate a “business resolution”. Those particular patents were for “Efficient retrieval of uniform resource locators,” “Method for presenting advertising in an interactive service,” and “programmatic discovery of common contacts.”

“We are pleased to reach this agreement with Twitter because it illustrates the value of patented IBM inventions and demonstrates our commitment to licensing access to our broad patent portfolio. We look forward to a productive relationship with Twitter in the future.” said General Manager of Intellectual Property for IBM, Ken King.

Neither Twitter nor IBM revealed any detailed information about the deal, including the terms on which both parties agreed on.

Thank you WebProneNews for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of The News

A.I. Company DeepMind Acquired By Google, Should We Expect Cyborgs Now?

Google is in process of acquiring artificial intelligence company DeepMind based in London for a reported price of $400 million. It is said that Google confirmed the acquisition, but they did not specify a price for the deal.

DeepMind has been founded by games prodigy and neuroscientist Demis Hassabis, along with Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman. The company specializes in artificial intelligence for a variety of products, ranging from games, simulations, to e-commerce and even websites. It is also said that CEO Larry Page led the deal himself, due to the fact that not only the company has potential in the long run, but also Hassabis is known for his particular talent, dubbed “probably the best games player in history” by Mind Sports Olympiad.

Judging from LinkedIn, the company is quite young, having around 3 years, and it specializes mainly in building learning algorithms. Sources have said that Founders Fund , along with Horizons Venture are major investors in DeepMind, while having Skype and Kazaa developer Jaan Tallinn as an investor and advisor. Also, sources have said that DeepMind has a team of at least 50 people and has secured more than $50 million in funding. DeepMind is described as “the last large independent company with a strong focus on artificial intelligence,” and is said it competed with companies like Google, Facebook and Baidu for talent.

It makes sense for Google to be interested in such a company with great potential, and think of the possibilities with the AI algorithms! Why, not long ago Google acquired Boston Dynamics, a company that specializes in robotics. Whether they intent to implement the learning algorithms in their giant search engine or their newly acquired ‘toys’, we would expect to see ‘revolutionary’ results from Google in the near future.

Thank you re/code for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of re/code

ARM Striving For Console-like Mobile Graphics, Acquires Geometrics

Geomerics, which has been awarded the title “leader in lighting technology” for the gaming and entertainment industries, offers Enlighten, the world’s first fully real-time global illumination technology. The acquisition will help ARM expand its position in the visual computing and graphics industries, while Geomerics can build on existing partnerships and accelerate development in mobile.

Typical mobile graphics applications today are limited to simple, direct lighting effects only. However, with global illumination, which provides advanced, photo realistic lighting effects in 3D graphics, effects such as compound reflections, refractions, shadows and other advanced effects are enabled. The result: more life-like graphics quality.

“The innovative technologies being developed by Geomerics are already revolutionizing the console gaming experience and are set to rapidly accelerate the transition to photo realistic graphics in mobile,” said Pete Hutton, EVP & GM Media Processing Division, ARM. “Empowering Geomerics’ portfolio with ARM’s graphics capabilities and market reach will be transformative for the user experiences in future mobile and entertainment devices.”

ARM’s announcement boasts that Enlighten is the only solution proven to deliver fully dynamic lighting on today’s PCs, game consoles and mobile platforms. In fact, you may have already seen this tech in action, as it’s used in Battlefield 4 and Battlefield 3, Need for Speed Rivals, Eve Online and Medal of Honor: Warfighter.

Thank you Tom’s Hardware for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Tom’s Hardware

Social Media Analytics Company Topsy Acquired By Apple

Social media metrics company Topsy Labs has been acquired by Apple, making it the second biggest acquisition made this month.Topsy specialises in analysing data from Twitter to track trends in customer sentiment.

The estimated value spent on the deal is around $200 million. Topsy is one of the few companies that have access to Twitter’s entire data stream. It provided clients with information topics that were trending and which companies people were talking about most.

Topsy’s main competitors are companies like DataSift and Gnip. Apple confirmed that it had purchased Topsy, but refused to give further details. “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose,” it said in a statement.

One analyst said that Apple may use the analytics technology to better place its products on social media.

“There are millions of people sharing their thoughts on platforms such as Twitter on any given day,” Sanjana Chappalli, Asia Pacific head of Lewis Pulse, a firm specialising in digital marketing services, told the BBC. “For companies to be able to understand what is popular with these users and what they are interested in, and then use it to their advantage, they need to filter the content and understand it. Topsy gives Apple the tools to do just that,” she explained.

Thank you T3 for providing us with this information

Facebook Rumoured To Be Interested In Acquiring BlackBerry

The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook is the latest company to be involved in the chase to acquire BlackBerry. As we know BlackBerry have financially struggled in the past few years as sales of their handsets have declined, but could things be so bad that they need to be taken over by a more successful company, like Facebook? Well the WSJ seems to think so and suggests executives of both companies got together last week to discuss a potential buyout offer. Naturally both Facebook and BlackBerry declined to comment on the speculation and we are unlikely to hear anything official until any form of deal is done and agreed.

Facebook aren’t the only company to be involved in a rumoured acquisition of Blackberry as BlackBerry already accepted a potential buyout offer from Canadian consortium Fairfax Financial which will finalise in early November if no other bids are placed for the handset company by then. Several other companies are also rumoured to be interested with Lenovo, led by BlackBerry’s ex-CEO Mike Lazaridis, one of them. Whatever happens there will be a lot of change at BlackBerry as the company is looking to turn its focus towards business customers in the public and private sectors instead of the consumer market where Samsung and Apple are forcing rivals into marginal positions.

Image courtesy of Blogcdn.com

Microsoft Buy Nokia’s Mobile Handset Business For $7.2 Billion

The BBC reports that the deal between Nokia and Microsoft has been finalised. The deal sees Microsoft buy Nokia’s mobile handset business for $7.2 billion. As part of the deal Nokia will license its patents and mapping services to Microsoft. The deal will happen in early 2014 when 32,000 Nokia employees will jump ship to Microsoft. Nokia shares rose 45% after announcing the deal. The transaction is subject to approval by Nokia shareholders and regulators but is very likely to be approved.

Interestingly Nokia’s Stephen Elop will stop down as president and chief executive of the Nokia corporation and resign from the company’s board. He is expected to “transfer to Microsoft at the anticipated closing” of the deal. Many have speculated that Stephen Elop will become the new CEO of Microsoft and replace Steve Ballmer.With the mobile handset business gone Nokia says it will focus on three key businesses – network equipment manufacturing, mapping and location services, and the development and licensing of technology.

Image courtesy of NokiaGadgets.com

Yahoo Purcahses Another Startup Company – Image Recognition Company IQ Engines

Marissa Mayer’s famous Yahoo policy of buying new startup companies continues and the latest company to be sucked into Yahoo’s ever growing portfolio is IQ Engines. This latest acquisition by Yahoo comes after they recently took over social browsing company Rockmelt and social blogging platform Tumblr. According to TechCrunch Yahoo is using its same policy of closing down the company’s operations before integrating it into their portfolio and operations.

IQ Engines specialise in helping to tag and organise photos. The company produced the “Glow” image recognition platform which tells you what a scene, object, landmark, text and who a person in any photograph is. The team at IQ Engines will probably be integrated into Yahoo’s Flickr department. In recent months Yahoo have acquired dozens of companies such as Tumblr, GoPollGo, Sumly, Astrid, Rockmelt and others. Marissa’s shopping spree continues. There will no doubt be many more to come before the year is out. The value and details of this deal are still not fully known.

Image courtesy of Yahoo

Listan GmbH (Be Quiet’s Parent Company) Take Over Xilence Brand

Listan GmbH have taken over the well known cooling and power supply brand Xilence. Listan GmbH, better known to you and me as the company behind the Be Quiet brand, has decided to expand its portfolio by acquiring Xilence and all its trademarks. Xilence will remain an independent brand and has formed a new subsidiary Xilence GmbH as part of the deal. From August 19th the new company will take care of all Xilence brand sales.

Listan GmbH hope to use Xilence to address the mass/main-stream market hence why the brand is being kept on and not merged with the Be Quiet brand which is reserved for a more niche market segment. Listan claim the deal will see the Be Quiet and Xilence portfolios strictly separated. Listan hopes to combine the expertise of both companies to help make it a power supply and cooling super-brand.

If Be Quiet’s strong presence in the European and North American markets is anything to go by we could soon see Xilence emerge as a much bigger brand under Listan’s leadership.

Image courtesy of eTeknix composite

Tumblr’s Bank Account Had Just $16 Million When Yahoo Took Over

Softpedia reports that Tumblr was “extremely poor” before the Yahoo takeover took place. Tumblr had just $16 million in the bank before the takeover, which is relatively low for such a large social media company. With such a low balance Tumblr were almost forced to sell as the lack of cash had no end in sight due to Tumblr’s inability to effectively sell advertising on its social blogging platform.

The security and exchange commission public filing shows details of the deal between the two companies. Yahoo paid $1.1 billion for a company that the SEC filing shows should have only been worth around $200 million.  Yahoo admits that about three quarters of the acquisition price was essentially “good will”. Yahoo have even agreed to pay former Tumblr owned David Karp $110 million over four years to stay at the head of Tumblr, this is in addition to the $250 million he received as part of the takeover deal. Since the take over the number of blogs on Tumblr has risen substantially but overall web-traffic has slumped. It remains to be seen how successful Yahoo’s takeover of Tumblr will be.

Image courtesy of eTeknix composite

Yahoo Buys Another Company – “Rockmelt” – Shuts It Down Straight Away

Since Marissa Mayer took over as CEO of Yahoo the company has been actively involved in purchasing many other companies and start-ups to increase their portfolio. The most notable of those is Tumblr but the latest addition to the Yahoo family is Rockmelt. Rockmelt are a company who developed a program that can be described as a social browsing service. The service personalises the way users search the internet and has a whole variety of social features to meet the needs of a wide variety of users.

AllThingsD says that the takeover cost Yahoo $60 to 70 million. The deal sees Rockmelt shut down straight away and its Apps cancelled. The company will then bring all its legal property, intellectual property and staff over to Yahoo to help integrate its expertise and features into Yahoo services.

“The parallels between Yahoo! And Rockmelt are obvious: we share a common goal to help people discover the best personalized content from around the web.” Yahoo representatives stated in a post.

Rockmelt launched back in 2010 and has been a standalone app relying on Twitter and Facebook integration. All its apps will sadly be shut down by the end of the month but should come back in one form or another through Yahoo services.

Image courtesy of Rockmelt

Tumblr Thriving After Yahoo Deal, 250K New Blogs Daily

Most analysts commenting on Yahoo’s acquisition of Tumblr seemed to think that the deal would ruin Tumblr and it would rapidly fall apart under the direction of Yahoo. However, the total opposite seems to have happened and Yahoo’s $1.1 billion acquisition is now thriving with 250,000 new blogs being created daily and 80 million blog posts being added daily.

According to figures by Which-5o in 8 weeks Tumblr has added 14 million new blogs (a 13% overall increase) and has added 4.2 billion new posts (an 8% increase) compared to pre-takeover levels. Tumblr has been growing rapidly ever since its formation in February 2007 and the Yahoo acquisition seems to have accelerated that growth curve.

That said, with a massive $1.1 billion spent on the acquisition we wonder how long it will take for Yahoo to rake their revenue back in by monetising the social media blogging service.

Image courtesy of eTeknix composite