Archive for September 4th, 2012

Kirby-themed bubblegum record blown away at PAX

In other news, 536 people blew bubblegum bubbles together. Also, it was a world record for simultaneous bubblegum blowing, which is lovely. The bubblegum blowers blew at PAX to celebrate Kirby’s 20th anniversary, and the upcoming release of Kirby’s Dream Collection on September 16

We were unsure Nintendo could rustle up enough blowers to blow a world record. But, like the bubblegum, we were blown away, as was the previous record of 304 achieved by Kirkwood Community College in 2010. We’re sorry, Kirkwood, but 304 to 536 just blows.

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China’s Baidu enters mobile browser fight

China’s dominant search engine Baidu Inc rolled out a mobile browser on Monday to help secure its share in a mobile Internet market that surpasses the US population in size and to fend off smaller rivals such as Qihoo 360 Technology Co.

In China, the number of users who access the Internet from mobile phones has risen to 388 million, according to a government report in July, outstripping the number of users who access it from a desktop computer for the first time.

The Baidu Mobile Browser, which will compete with UCWeb Inc’s UC Browser, Google Inc’s Chrome and default Android browser, and Apple Inc’s Safari, is about 20 per cent faster than its rivals based on internal tests, Li Mingyuan, Baidu’s general manager of mobile and cloud computing, told reporters on Friday at a pre-launch briefing.

Baidu’s mobile browser also allows users to access a plethora of web-based mobile applications (apps) and run high-definition video through the browser without having to download apps or supporting software.

The browser, together with Baidu’s other mobile products such as its mobile operating system and cheap smartphones launched with partners, forms the core of what Baidu hopes will eventually become a source of revenue.

“Monetizing mobile is hugely important for Baidu,” said Michael Clendenin, managing director of RedTech Advisors, who added that the drive to monetize would be a medium-term concern for Baidu as its advertising clients still need to create mobile-friendly websites.

The shift to mobile could pose problems for Baidu if it can’t find a way to make money from search traffic. Baidu currently makes the bulk of its revenue from users searching from laptops and desktops.

Baidu’s goal is for 80 per cent of China’s Android handsets to have downloaded the Baidu Mobile Browser by the end of 2012, Li said.

The Baidu Mobile Browser also comes as Baidu is fending off threats on its home turf. Anti-virus software firm Qihoo 360 Technology’s entry last month into search caused Baidu’s shares to tumble 17 per cent to date.

Baidu is also moving into cloud computing, a term used to describe data storage or processing on the Web.

Chief Financial Officer Jennifer Li said on Monday the firm will invest more than 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) to set up its cloud computing centre.

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Oracle to appeal US copyright damages case: SAP

STUTTGART: US business software maker Oracle has launched an appeal on a five-year long court case that could see SAP pay millions more in damages over copyright infringement.

On Monday, a spokesman for SAP confirmed a report in the German daily Mannheimer Morgen to this effect, adding that “in the worst case the appeal could take two years,” adding SAP was disappointed that Oracle continued to drag out the process.

“We agreed to a reasonable arrangement, since we believe this case has already persisted long enough,” the SAP spokesman said.

SAP agreed in August to pay Oracle $306 million in damages over copyright infringement allegations against a SAP unit, “to save the time and expense of this new trial, and to expedite the resolution of the appeal,” as lawyers for both companies had said at the time.

A Northern California jury determined in 2010 that Oracle should be paid $1.3 billion over accusations SAP subsidiary TomorrowNow wrongfully downloaded millions of Oracle files.

However, U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton last year discarded the jury verdict and said Oracle could accept a $272 million award, or opt for a new trial against SAP.

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