Archive for August 3rd, 2012

Temple Run races to 100 million downloads

Imangi Studio’s Temple Run has achieved 100 million downloads across iOS and Android. We’d describe what the game is about, but from those numbers it appears you either already know or could simply turn to the person next to you and ask. Breaking it down, the free reflex actioner has had over 68 million downloads on iOS and 32 million on Android.

“We never imagined that the game we were making and loved would be so well received around the world,” said Imangi co-founder Keith Shepherd. “The last year has been incredible for us, and we are grateful to fans of the game.”

To celebrate the milestone, all Imangi’s games released prior to Temple Run are free for a limited time. That’s… well, according to a quick glance at the App Store, it appears to be all their games.

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Apple asks for verdict after Samsung ‘misconduct’

SAN FRANCISCO: With a major patent trial barely underway, Apple has asked a judge to rule against Samsung, saying lawyers for the South Korean firm improperly disclosed information excluded in court in a bid to sway jurors.

An Apple court document released Thursday said Samsung issued a statement to the press with data excluded from the trial, which began in San Jose Monday on patent infringement over smartphones and tablet computers.

“Apple seeks a finding that Samsung and its counsel have engaged in bad faith litigation misconduct by attempting to prejudice the jury,” the motion to Judge Lucy Koh said.

“Samsung apparently believes that it is above the law, and that it — not this court — should decide what evidence the jury should see.”

According to court documents, Samsung provided media with a statement Tuesday expressing displeasure with the judge’s exclusion of evidence.

“Samsung was not allowed to tell the jury the full story and show the pre-iPhone design… in development at Samsung in 2006, before the iPhone,” said the statement from the South Korean firm.

“The excluded evidence would have established beyond doubt that Samsung did not copy the iPhone design. Fundamental Fairness requires that the jury decide the case based on all the evidence.”

Apple said in its motion that releasing the statement represented “misconduct” because it could influence the jury.

“Samsung already has been sanctioned four times in this case for discovery abuses,” Apple’s motion said.

“Most recently, Samsung was sanctioned for destroying evidence. Litigation misconduct is apparently a part of Samsung’s litigation strategy — and limited sanctions have not deterred Samsung from such misconduct.”

Apple said it would not request a mistrial but instead ask the judge to rule in the case.

“It is fully within the court’s authority to order judgment in Apple’s favor as a sanction for this misconduct,” it said, adding the judge may also “instruct the jury that Samsung engaged in serious misconduct.”

Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Philip Schiller, was to be on the stand when the trial resumes Friday.

Jurors on Tuesday began hearing the biggest US patent trial in decades, with billions at stake for the tech giants.

Apple is seeking more than $2.5 billion in a case accusing the South Korean firm of infringing on designs and other patents from the iPhone and iPad maker.

This is one of several cases in courts around the world involving the two electronics giants in the hottest part of the tech sector — tablet computers and smartphones.

While the results so far have been mixed in courts in Europe and Australia, Samsung is clearly on the defensive in the US case.

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RIM to launch new PlayBook line next week

TORONTO: Canada’s Research In Motion has chosen its home country to launch a PlayBook tablet with built-in support for cellular networks, a crucial feature missing from its poor-selling initial models.

The BlackBerry maker said on Thursday it would launch the new tablets in Canada next week and roll them out in coming months in the United States, Europe, South Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

The PlayBook tablet, introduced more than a year ago, is strategically important for RIM as it is the first product to use the QNX operating system that RIM is adapting for a new generation of BlackBerry phones designed to compete with sexier devices already on the market.

But the PlayBook was widely criticized at launch for lacking basic features such as email, and it has failed to wow consumers despite sharp discounts and a major software upgrade.

RIM has so far only sold Wi-Fi capable PlayBook devices and this has played a role in making the device less attractive to potential buyers, as users would need access to a Wi-Fi network or to tether the device to the BlackBerry to use the Internet.

The new device will run on the latest 4G LTE networks that offer high-speed data downloads capabilities. Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology is being widely deployed by carriers both in North America and overseas, as smartphone adoption has increased and boosted demand for wireless data downloads.

The 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will come with 32 gigabytes of memory and will be available from major Canadian carriers like BCE Inc’s Bell, Rogers Communications Inc and Telus Corp in Canada on Aug. 9.

Variants of the tablet supporting various cellular networks are expected to be available in the coming months from carriers in other countries, RIM said.

The company did not release pricing details on the new PlayBook.

HEAVY DISCOUNTS Over the last year RIM has been forced to offer heavy discounts to boost flagging sales, as the PlayBook runs on the QNX operating system that will power RIM’s next generation of smartphones, due early next year.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company needs to have more applications available before the new phones, powered by QNX software called BlackBerry 10, hit the market. It hopes greater PlayBook adoption will encourage developers to create apps for the new devices.

RIM has struggled to compete against Apple Inc’s iPhone and iPad, and a host of devices smartphone and tablet devices powered by Google’s Android. The one-time technology giant’s fate now rests almost completely on the success or failure of its new line of BlackBerry 10 smartphones.

Shares of RIM were down 2 percent at $6.97 on Thursday afternoon on the New York Stock Exchange.

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Facebook to prioritise CO2-free energy to meet 2015 target

LONDON: Facebook Inc may locate a growing number of its data centres at sites that have easy access to renewable energy in order to generate a quarter of its electricity use from carbon-free sources by 2015, the world’s largest social media company said on Wednesday.

Facebook’s comments on its carbon footprint, which were posted on its website, come amid calls by green groups for the IT and social media sectors to slash their use of coal-fired electricity as global demand skyrockets for online data.

“We’ve set a company goal to derive at least 25 per cent of our energy mix from clean and renewable sources by 2015. We know this is going to be a stretch for us, and we’re still figuring out exactly what it will take to get there,” the company said.

It added that it would give a preference to locations that have access to clean and renewable energy sources when deciding where to base electricity-hungry data centres.

Facebook said by 2014 it will commission a data centre near the Arctic Circle in northern Sweden that will use 120 MW of hydropower, and the facility will use cold air funnelled from outside in order to cool down servers. But the company acknowledged that until then, “our carbon footprint and energy mix may get worse before they get better”.

Facebook’s share of renewable energy is likely to fall in the next two years because of forecasts of increased demand for electricity at the company’s two current data centres at Prineville, Oregon and Forest City, North Carolina, where coal-fired power dominates the energy mix.

The social media company, which has 950 million users worldwide, said 23 per cent of its electricity came from renewables last year; 27 per cent from coal; 17 per cent from natural gas, and 13 per cent from nuclear. It added that the remaining 20 per cent was “uncategorized”, meaning it has used electricity bought by utilities on the spot market from multiple sources.

CAMPAIGN

Facebook said carbon emissions from data centres, office space, employee travel and commuting, and construction of new facilities amounted to 285,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent, while the annual carbon footprint of each monthly active user of the company’s website is 269 grams.

“To put this number into context, one person’s Facebook use for all of 2011 had roughly the same carbon footprint as one medium latte. Or three large bananas. Or a couple of glasses of wine,” the company said.

Environmental pressure group Greenpeace in 2010 called on Facebook’s users to “unfriend coal” as part of a campaign to persuade the social media giant to make the switch to renewable sources of energy.

Greenpeace last year ranked 10 of the world’s biggest IT, social media and technology companies on the basis of their energy use, found that Facebook was the second-most coal-intensive behind Apple Inc.

CLOUD

But on Wednesday Greenpeace praised Facebook’s efforts. “Facebook has committed to being fully renewably powered, and today’s detailed disclosure and announcement of a clean energy target shows that the company means business and wants the world to follow its progress,” Greenpeace International Senior IT Analyst Gary Cook said.

Greenpeace said technology companies such as Facebook, which are building huge new servers to store and process data amid surging growth in cloud computing, needed to be increasingly accountable for their energy use. “The aggregate energy footprint of the cloud would already rank fifth among countries in terms of electricity demand and is expected to triple or quadruple in the very near future,” Cook added.

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Google to invest 150 mn euros in Finland data centre

Google will invest 150 million euros ($184.5 million) in doubling the size of a data centre housed in a former paper mill in eastern Finland, the company said, as it responds to growing demand for its services.

Companies like Google have been expanding data centres due to the increasing popularity of cloud computing services, which allow users to store and process data at massive remote data centres instead of on their own computers.

Finland and other Northern European countries are popular sites for data centres, with vast amounts of hydro-power and cold climates which cut the need for cooling, the main cost for many data centres.

Google’s data centre in Hamina uses a sea water cooling system that was part of the old paper mill which Google bought from Stora Enso in 2009.

Europe’s top paper maker closed the loss-making mill in 2008 after nearly 53 years of operation. Older parts of the mill were designed by renowned Finnish architect Alvar Aalto.

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