It's time to start a TV revolution: over-the-air and over-the-top. Join us, won't you? And maybe someone can build the blog for us? In other news, Apple may be trying for a home run where Google struck out, with carrier-independent phone sales. And watch Oompa Loompas build the next Mars lander, live! --MollySubscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
Links from Thursday's episode of Loaded:
Google gets out of its FTC investigation with only a slap on the wrist
Google launches Google Place Search for local business listings
T-Mobile will be the first to sell the Samsung Galaxy Tab on November 10
Sony may be making a PlayStation Phone
Outlook for Mac came out this week
FanSwarm will launch on Facebook this weekend as a way to play celebrity fantasy leagues
The familiar yellow EnergyGuide labels seen on home appliances will be attached to televisions in stores, giving consumers a better idea of how TVs stack up on power consumption.
The Federal Trade Commission yesterday announced that televisions manufactured after May 10, 2011 will need to have an EnergyGuide label, which are now used for white goods such as dishwashers and refrigerators.
Consumers will be able to get an estimate of the cost to power a TV for a year and how those costs compare to other TVs of a similar size. The labels must be displayed on the front of … Read more
Google won't face any fines from U.S. regulators over its accidental Street View Wi-Fi data collection.
The Federal Trade Commission sent a letter to the search company today, saying that because Google has made improvements to its internal privacy practices, including a formal review process, it would not pursue the matter further.
"Because of these commitments, we are ending our inquiry into this matter at this time," wrote David Vladeck, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection.
Although it has touted privacy as a key concern, the White House isn't faring as well as it should in that area, at least according to a report card from a noted privacy group.
Released last week by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), the 2010 privacy report card (PDF) gave the Obama administration a grade of C in consumer privacy, a B in medical privacy, a D in civil liberties, and a B in cybersecurity. Offered by a group of privacy experts at a Capitol Hill briefing, the 2010 report card reflects lower grades in a couple of … Read more
The Federal Trade Commission yesterday proposed a revision to its Green Guides for consumer products that would include strict regulations on the environmental claims made by companies.
The 229-page proposal (PDF) includes a wide variety of regulations as to what companies may say in marketing materials about the eco-friendly attributes of products, packaging, or services.
The newly proposed version of the Green Guides, which has not been updated since 1998, would include stricter rules for the use of certificates and seals of approval. It also includes new regulations on using terms like compostable, degradable, ozone-friendly, ozone-safe, non-toxic, and recyclable.
For … Read more
A PR firm accused of writing phony iTunes reviews of its clients' iPhone apps is settling the case with the Federal Trade Commission.
As part of the proposed settlement (PDF), PR firm Reverb Communications and owner Tracie Snitker must remove any iTunes reviews that were written by Reverb employees posing as ordinary customers and who failed to disclose a relationship between Reverb and its game developer clients. The agreement also bars Reverb and Snitker from posting further reviews on iTunes that pretend to be from independent consumers or that neglect to disclose any connection between the company and its clients, … Read more
Nvidia's chief executive officer is emphatic that his company has a strategy for building processors beyond its mainstay graphics chips.
During an interview with CNET, Jen-Hsun Huang addressed an issue with the company's chips and spoke about ongoing Intel litigation.
On Thursday, Nvidia reported a second-quarter net loss of $141 million, or 25 cents per share, worse than the net loss of $105.3 million, or 19 cents a share, a year earlier. The graphics processing unit (GPU) supplier--whose chips are found in PCs from Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Acer, Sony, and Toshiba--cited muted demand for consumer graphics chips and economic weakness in Europe and China, which drove consumers to lower-priced products. Nvidia products typically are targeted at the upper end of the market.
In the earnings announcement, the company addressed a longstanding issue--and ongoing financial burden--centered on a defect in some of its earlier GPUs and chipsets. The problem was first cited by Nvidia in July 2008 when it announced a charge ranging from $150 million to $200 million to cover costs to repair and replace GPUs and chipsets due to "weak die/packaging material" in older laptop products. "Die/packaging" essentially describes the chip. Nvidia also announced additional charges after July 2008.
On Thursday, Nvidia said it recorded an "additional net charge" of $193.9 million related to the same problem. "The charge includes additional remediation costs as well as the estimated costs of a pending settlement of a class action lawsuit related to this matter," the company said in a statement. Combined with the $282 million of net charges announced previously, the total net charge related to the issue comes to $475.9 million, the company said.
I asked Huang Thursday if he thought the problem was now largely… Read more
Regulators from the European Union are getting involved in the Federal Trade Commission investigation of Apple's business strategies that was opened up in June, according to a New York Post report on Tuesday.
The inclusion of the EU regulators means the investigation could now stretch "another four to six months" before the FTC reaches any official conclusions, according to the Post's sources.
The focus of the probe, which remains unconfirmed by the FTC, centers on Apple's App Store developer agreement. In early April, Apple adjusted its wording in a way that outright barred developers from using third-party development tools … Read more
The Federal Trade Commission settlement with Intel on Wednesday focused on the chipmaker's exclusionary business practices while also trying to ensure vigorous competition in the graphics chip business.
Citing "Intel's disturbing behavior," the tone of the FTC's allegations in Tuesday's decision weren't very different from the language used in the lawsuit brought by Advanced Micro Devices against Intel in 2005. And many of the restrictions placed on Intel's business practices are similar to those reached with AMD in a $1.25 billion settlement in November.
What is different, however, is that the FTC decision has the weight of the federal government behind it. Moreover, the commission can challenge any harmful anitcompetitive practice Intel may engage in the future, even if not specifically prohibited by the proposed consent order, the FTC said Wednesday.
The FTC order is big on keeping Intel honest. Under the settlement, Intel will be prohibited from cutting deals with customers that prevents them from buying chips from rivals such as AMD. And Intel will be prevented from retaliating--as has been alleged most recently by the Securities and Exchanged Commission--against customers for straying from the Intel fold and doing business with non-Intel suppliers.
"Evidence shows that Intel refused to sell chips to some buyers, unless they agreed to limit, or in a few cases, entirely stopped buying chips… Read more