Amazon Is Delaying Its Set-Top Box
), in an effort to expand its video offerings and digital
content, would be introducing a television set-top box this fall.
The new device would compete with Roku and
) TV, as well as video game systems like the upcoming PlayStation
) and the Xbox One from
), both of which boast broad digital content features beyond
gaming. The box would also bring the company's Video on Demand
store, free for subscribers to Amazon Prime, directly to
consumers' televisions. Bloomberg reported that the device was
being designed by Lab 126, a Cupertino, California-based
subsidiary of Amazon that was responsible for developing the
Last month, the
Wall Street Journal
that the box would be pushed back further into the fall with a
release before the holidays. Now, The Verge has
that the device will be delayed even further and will possibly be
released after the holiday season, which would have been, of
course, a prime time for Amazon to debut its Apple TV and Roku
Sources have said that the device will be based on a derivative
) Android OS, just like the Kindle Fire. Moreover, the device
will allow third party apps in addition to offering its own
Given Amazon's history of competitive pricing, the device could
have been a major holiday shopping item this year. If the reports
are true, Amazon will have to wait just a bit longer to take a
bite out of the set-top box space.
The Woz Doesn't Dig the New iPad Air
Yesterday, Steve Wozniak, a co-founder of Apple, took the stage
at Apps World in London and announced that the new iPad Air is
just not for him. As he said, "Yes it's thinner, but I wanted
storage. I don't have broadband at home, so I carry all my
personal media in the iPad. So I was hoping Apple has a 256GB
iPad. So I emailed my wife and said I didn't want one of those."
Perhaps the oddest part of this story is that the Woz, of all
gurus, does not have broadband Internet. "I can't order a movie
from iTunes and watch it straight away. I could wait for it but I
get bored by then. It's because of my lousy phone company, but
that is life," he said.
Google Increases Its Stake in a Finnish Data
In 2009, Google bought an old paper mill in Hamina, Finland, from
the Finnish paper company Sora Enso. With an initial investment
of 200 million euros, or $275.65 million, Google transformed the
mill, which used a sea water cooling system, into a data center.
In August of this year, the company announced an additional $150
million in spending on the data center, and now sources have told
Reuters that the company plans to announce another round of
investments in early November. Giving credence to the sources,
the Prime Minister of Finland, Jyrki Katinen, has confirmed that
he will attend a special event at the Hamina date center on
Because of their access to vast amounts of hydro power, Northern
European countries like Finland have been popular locations for
data centers. Moreover, the cooler climate of Scandinavia helps
to reduce cooling costs. In fact, Microsoft has said recently
that it has plans to invest over $250 million in a new data
center in Finland. Notedly, Microsoft is planning to acquire
(NOK), which is a Finnish company.
Time Warner Cable Will Carry Al Jazeera America
After dropping the channel earlier this year,
Time Warner Cable
(TWC) has announced that it will again carry Al Jazeera America.
According to a statement the company made today, Al Jazeera
America, owned by the Qatar-based Al Jazeera Satellite Network,
will be available to digital basic cable subscribers in New York,
Los Angeles, and Dallas within the next six months.
Back in Janaury of 2013, Time Warner said it would be dropping Al
Jazeera only hours after the Qatar-based news network announced
it was buying Current TV, the troubled cable company founded by
Other major telecom companies like
(VZ) FiOS carry the channel.
(T) still does not carry the channel on its U-verse TV service;
Al Jazeera has sued AT&T because of this.
Worldwide, Al Jazeera is available in 260 million home in 130
countries, and with Time Warner picking up the channel again, it
will be seen in 55 million US homes (as compared to the 100
million homes that have access to CNN). Since its launch on
August 20, Al Jazeera America has not done well in viewership
ratings: In the first week of October, the channel's flagship
had an incredibly paltry average viewership of 18,600 people.
Chinese Internet Company NQ Mobile Sees Major Sell-Off
After Muddy Waters Calls It a "Massive Fraud"
This afternoon, the investment research firm Muddy Waters began
of the Chinese Internet company
(NQ), calling the company a "massive fraud" and giving it a price
target of below $1. As such, shares of the company have fallen
almost 50% since today's open, from above $22 per share to $12.09
at the time of this writing.
The firm claimed that at least 72% of the company's revenue of
$32.2 million is fraudulent, and that as much as $20.2 million of
it came from a shell company called Yidatong. (Muddy Waters went
looking for the offices of Yidatong and said they were "either
non-existent of completely empty.")
According to the firm's report, NQ Mobile holds only 1.4% of the
the Chinese security app market, rather than its claimed 55%.
Qihoo 360 Technology
(QIHU) has a legitimate 73.5% market share of Internet security
For more info on NQ Mobile, see the
from Muddy Waters.
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