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Friday, October 28, 2011

Viacom Continues Suing Google

Viacom has appealed to the US Court of Appeals, trying to overrule the decision taken by the court back in 2010, saying that Google isn’t responsible for copyright violation of Viacom’s material uploaded on YouTube.

Last week, Viacom’s lawyer claimed that the earlier court was a mistake, because it declared the streaming service eligible for the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA, which was not correct. 13 years ago, upon the completion of the DMCA, Internet service providers got an immunity provision for ISPs following specific guidelines. This included the removal of violating material when rights owners were sending warnings. The defense of the search engine was built on this basis, and the court finally agreed on it.

In respond, Viacom argued that Google wasn’t eligible for safe harbor, pointing at a couple of facts able to sustain its claims. Viacom claimed that the DMCA didn’t just require broadband providers to act when warned about copyright violation, but also to take a stand when being notified of any facts or circumstances implying apparent violating activity.

The DMCA also excludes from safe harbor organizations receiving a financial benefit that is connected with the violating activity, and that’s exactly what YouTube’s infringing advertisements were. The company’s lawyer Paul Smith reminded the court about these facts last week. Viacom insisted that publishing copyrighted content was the very source of success for streaming service, and that such online giant could do more about censoring infringing sites and material.

In respond, the counselor of the search giant opposed the accusations by arguing that the legislation didn’t force streaming service to introduce the most high-tech censoring technologies. Moreover, Google couldn’t do any more about censoring, because it is actually an impossible task. This claim was supported by the example of Viacom’s staff that uploaded Viacom material themselves and then experiencing difficulties with working out which content was legitimate and which wasn’t.

Meanwhile, it seems that Viacom’s attempts to put the streaming service to the wall might be in vain. The experts pointed out that there were a number of cases dating back in 2009, like Veoh and MP3tunes, where the judges granted safe harbor to the services offering media content, based on the DMCA.

France Blocked Police Misconduct Videos

French authorities have ordered the country’s Internet service providers to ban a site developed to allow people publish videos of suspected police misconduct.


Famous copwatch Nord Paris I-D-F started experiencing good traffic after the civilians began posting video footage of policemen beating people up, or otherwise behaving not professional.

Alliance Police Nationale, the country’s police union, has welcomed the court decision that banned the access to this website, saying that demonstrating video footage of the country’s policemen being violent would only encourage people to be violent to the cops in respond. In fact, if a person knows he or she is going to get a good kicking while being arrested, they are more likely to make an attempt to either run away or fight back. At the same time, fighting back doesn’t look like something that French policemen like a lot, because it usually makes it harder to hit a victim.

According to the media reports, the judges have considered the website a threat to the integrity of the police forces. That’s why they have taken such decision. A reasonable question remains the following: is being staffed by psychopathic bullies looking forward to beating up suspects not a threat to the police?

Industry experts agreed that this particular court order was an obvious will by the county’s authorities to control and censor the civilians’ new Internet public area. Strangely enough, for a country that inspired the United States, France doesn’t have any kind of equivalent to the American First Amendment that prevents the authorities from making any legislation that would abridge the freedom of speech or of the media. On the other hand, France did have legislation that allowed to cut the heads off whoever they liked, so maybe cutting off sites is the next step to it.

Spanish File-Sharing Operators Sentenced To Jail

A couple of Spanish file-sharing services, FenixP2P.com and MP3-es.com, didn’t differ from any of the file-sharing services out there. In other words, they didn’t host copyrighted material, but only offered links to it. Although it was considered very unlikely that the operators of these websites would get into trouble (since the country’s courts usually exonerated defendants operating on such portals), for some reason the Provincial Court of Vizcaya changed its mind and sentenced the site admins to one year jail time, plus fines.


The admins were sent to jail thanks to an appeal filed by the country’s Association of Distributors and Publishers of Entertainment Software after the defendants were initially acquitted. The local court confirmed that none of the above mentioned online locations hosted infringing content. However, the judge pointed out that the services have been looking for financial gain via advertising. The operators were unlucky – the Court of Vizcaya took a decision that their actions represented more of an act of “communicating to the public” than just an exchange between people.

The lawyer of one of the file-sharing services called the court’s decision a political statement, saying that their service was just a P2P links website, which has been declared by all courts exempt from criminal liability over the last years. Considering the overall atmosphere in Spain after the online campaign against the Sinde Law, one can only understand such statement in political terms. The court, they said, didn’t hear directly neither from experts or witnesses, which actually violates the principles of contradiction and immediacy. The file-sharing services are going to file an appeal to the Constitutional Court and further to the European Court of Human Rights.

Samsung Surpasses Apple In Smartphones, Upbeat On Q4

Samsung Electronics Co surpassed Apple Inc as the world's top smartphone maker with more than 40 percent shipment growth, and forecast strong sales in the fourth quarter, as it aims to consolidate its lead against rivals.
Samsung, which had little traction in the booming smartphone market until early last year, has since staged a strong comeback and reported a record profit from handset sales in the third quarter on Friday.
"Looking ahead into the fourth quarter - when industry demand is traditionally at its peak - Samsung expects sales of mobile devices to remain strong and flat panel TV shipments to increase," Samsung said in its earnings statement.
Profits from the telecoms division more than doubled from a year ago to 2.5 trillion won ($2.2 billion) and accounted for 60 percent of the total profit, mitigating a sharp plunge in earnings from its bread-and-butter memory chips.
Shipments of smartphones jumped more than 40 percent from the preceding quarter and 300 percent from a year ago.
The growth leapfrogs Apple, which sold fewer iPhones in the third quarter from the previous quarter. Apple's iPhone sales slid to 17.1 million units from the second quarter's 20 million units.
Samsung didn't provide third-quarter sales figures, but the percentage growth numbers suggested shipments may have risen to around 27 million units from second-quarter's 19 million units. Nokia , which is also slowly regaining lost ground, sold 16.8 million smartphones.
By 0125 GMT, Samsung shares were up 1.4 percent versus a 1.7 percent gain in the wider market.
Samsung, the world's biggest technology firm by revenue, reported a 4.25 trillion won operating profit for the July-September quarter on Friday, broadly in line with its earlier estimate of 4.2 trillion won.
That was down from 4.9 trillion won a year ago but up from 3.8 trillion won in the preceding quarter.
"I expect to see earnings improve slightly in the fourth quarter, and strongly in 2012. Its telecommunications devices business will continue to do very well, and so will non-memory chips," said Lee Sun-tae, an analyst at Meritz Securities.
Samsung, the biggest handset maker in Google's Android camp, however, faces challenges as the new iPhone , introduced earlier this month, is scoring strong sales, while Nokia is fighting back with its first phones based on Microsoft's Windows software.
Sony Corp also announced on Thursday that it would take full ownership of its mobile venture Sony Ericsson in a bid to exploit its music and video.
Samsung on Thursday announced the launch of its Galaxy Note mobile devices, adding to the flagship Galaxy lineup of products. The devices, powered by the Android software, will square off against a series of new models released by Apple Nokia, and HTC Corp.
Samsung's mainstay chip business saw its profit more than halve to 1.59 trillion won from a year earlier, but it held up well as its relatively high exposure to lucrative mobile chips helped the firm offset a sharp plunge in prices of commodity computer memory chips.
Samsung was the sole profitable firm among major global DRAM chip makers in the third quarter. Second-ranked computer memory chip maker Hynix Semiconductor and Japan 's Elpida Memory swung to deep losses as prices of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips used in PCs tumbled about 50 percent in the third quarter.
Its chip business is also benefiting from strong demand for mobile processor chips used in Apple's iPhone and iPad as well as its own Galaxy smartphones.
Samsung expected demand for PCs to remain weak in the fourth quarter because of weak seasonality, while demand for mobile devices and servers will be relatively strong.
"I see some signs that chip prices have hit bottom as inventories are running out. However, we don't yet know when the industry is going to pick up since macroeconomic uncertainties overshadow the demand outlook," said Park Hyun, an analyst at Tong Yang Securities.
Samsung's display business posted losses for a third consecutive quarter, as weak demand for TVs and PCs outweighed strong sales of smartphones. But losses narrowed from the previous quarter, helped by strong earnings from OLED display, which is widely expected to replace LCD as next-generation flat-screens in mobile devices and TVs.
Samsung competes with Nokia in mobile phones, Sony and LG Electronics Inc in TVs, Toshiba , Hynix in chips and LG Display in displays.

Nokia Unveils First Windows Phones

Nokia unveiled its long-awaited first Microsoft Windows phones, betting on the two sleek new models to get it back into the race with Apple and Google

The top-end Lumia 800, featuring easy access to social networks like Facebook and high-definition video playback, will sell for about $584 excluding subsidies

The Lumia 800, with vivid colours and a curved, black display, features Windows Phone's live icons on the home screen, which automatically update news, weather and Facebook feeds

It also boasts free navigation and Microsoft's new Internet Explorer 9 browser, putting it in the same bracket as Apple's iPhone and Samsung's top Galaxy phones

Chief Executive Stephen Elop presented the two new smartphones, the first fruits of his big bet on Microsoft software, to a 3,000-strong audience in London, saying they represented the beginning of a new era for the Finnish giant

"It's a new dawn for Nokia," Elop said as he unveiled the high-end Lumia 800 and mid-range Lumia 710, which will go on sale in key European markets next month

The Lumia 710 runs on Windows Phone 7.5 Mango and has three new apps - Nokia Drive, Nokia Music and the ESPN hub - which will be found exclusively on Nokia made Windows phones

The Lumia 710 has a 3.7-inch screen with 800-by-480 resolution and is powered by a 1.4 GHz processor. The 710 has 5 megapixel camera with LED flash with a 8GB internal storage memory

Analysts were positive about the new phones, though they said the first results of the Nokia-Microsoft pairing remained well short of an iPhone killer

The phones will go on sale in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Britain in November, and in Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan before the end of the year

Sony Buys Ericsson Out Of Mobile Phone Venture

A customer picks up a Sony Ericsson smart phone at an electronics shop in Tokyo October 7, 2011. 

Sony Corp is to take over the Sony Ericsson mobile phone joint venture for 1.05 billion euros ($1.45 billion), as it seeks to catch up with smartphone and tablet makers Apple and Samsung.
The deal to buy out its Swedish partner gives Sony ownership of certain handset patents held by Ericsson and will enable it to integrate the joint venture's output with its own range of products and content.
"It's the beginning of something which I think is quite magical," said Sony's chairman and chief Executive Sir Howard Stringer.
"We can more rapidly and more widely offer consumers smartphones, laptops, tablets and televisions that seamlessly connect with one another and open up new worlds of online entertainment".
Until now Sony's tablets, games and other consumer electronics devices have been kept separate from the phones sold and created by Sony Ericsson.
"Sony is looking to do the same as Apple and meet user's demands through linking various devices with similar interfaces and operating systems," said analyst Nobuo Kurahashi of Mizuho Investors' Securities in Tokyo.
"Since television sales are set to fall smartphones look to become more important products for Sony since their sales are rising globally and they will probably become the main device people use to connect to the Internet."
Smartphone sales have been surging since Apple launched its first iPhone in 2007 and despite a slowdown in the overall consumer electronics market the strong demand for smartphones is expected to continue.
The takeover of Sony Ericsson by the Japanese group had long been talked of, and a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters this month that a deal was in the offing.
"Sony now has all the components to compete with Samsung and Apple. The big question now is ... can it execute ?," said Pete Cunningham of industry consultancy Canalys.
"Based on history I am sceptical but I would not say it cannot be done," he added.
Founded in 2001, Sony Ericsson last year took around 2 percent of the global cellphone market with sales of 6.3 billion euros and employs some 7,500 people. Initially it thrived with an array of camera and music phones but then lost out in the smartphone race.
"Sony had to make this deal as it had run out of options, but integration challenges could prove to be a major hurdle," said Ben Wood, head of research at London-based mobile consultancy CCS Insight.
"As a major consumer electronics player lack of mobile assets had become a liability for Sony, particularly when compared with Samsung, whose telecommunication business creates nearly half of its profits," he said.
Ericsson said the deal provides Sony with a broad intellectual property cross-licensing agreement covering all the Japanese company's products and services as well as ownership of "five essential patent families relating to wireless handset technology".
"The only value Ericsson added to the venture was patents," said Cunningham.
However, in comparison Nokia, the world's largest cellphone vendor by volume, controls some 10,000 patent families.
Shares in Ericsson, whose main strength lies in its wireless network equipment business, were up 5 percent at 70 crowns by 1024 GMT.
Sony Corp is to take full control of its Sony Ericsson mobile phone joint venture with Swedish mobile phone network gear maker Ericsson as it seeks to catch up with other makers of smartphones and boost its offering of consumer eletronics, the companies said on Thursday.
Ericsson is to receive 1.05 billion euros in cash for its 50 percent share of the venture, which was set up in 2001. It initially thrived with an array of camera and music phones, but later lost out in the smartphone race.

Nokia Launches 'Affordable' Windows Smartphone 'Asha' Targeting Indian Market

Facing fierce competition to remain the world's top mobile phone maker, Nokia has launched two new smartphones that are based on Microsoft's new Windows Phone 7.5 operating system.
The Finnish company launched its 'Lumia 800' and the 'Lumia 710' to mark the beginning of Nokia's fightback against Apple's iPhone and rivals using Google's Android software, the BBC reports.
In a bid to retain its strong hold in the Indian market, the company named its new series of smartphones, which includes four other basic phones, 'Asha', a Hindi word meaning hope.
According to the BBC, the phones will be relatively cheap, and will sport features like touch screens, 5 mega pixel cameras, bright screens, 32GB storage for music and long battery life.
Nokia's new boss, Stephen Elop, had previously warned that the company was stuck on a "burning platform". Now, he said that the launch marked the "rebirth" of Nokia.
Elop said the phones would blur the boundaries between feature phones and smart phones, bringing the internet "to the next billion people".
He acknowledged that the Lumia 800 was a design development of a previous Nokia phone, the MeeGo-based N9.
Elop said the "Lumia is the first real Windows phone" and predicted the company would be the leader in "smartphone design and craftsmanship". (ANI)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rim Delays PlayBook update, Messenger To Come Later

A woman holds the a RIM PlayBook in Toronto, April 19, 2011

Research In Motion won't upgrade the software for its much-maligned PlayBook tablet computer until February, months behind schedule, and the new version still won't feature the popular BlackBerry Messenger application.
Shares of RIM dropped more than 6 percent on Wednesday as investors digested the latest in a string of disappointments as RIM struggles to compete with Apple Inc's category-defining iPad tablet.
The Canadian company that makes the BlackBerry introduced the PlayBook last April. But technology writers, financial analysts and consumers alike scorned the tablet because it could not handle the in-built email, calendar and contact applications that made BlackBerry a household name.
At the time of the launch, RIM said it would add email and other features within 60 days. It later pushed that deadline back to the summer months and then to October.
The latest delay was announced on RIM's official blog late Tuesday.
"As much as we'd love to have it in your hands today, we've made the difficult decision to wait to launch BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 until we are confident we have fully met the expectations of our developers, enterprise customers and end-users," wrote David Smith, a senior vice-president for the PlayBook.
Insiders and close watchers of the company say RIM may have hit roadblocks getting the PlayBook's operating system to link with RIM's secure servers and data centers, which push email and other data to users via carrier networks.
Presumably RIM expects to have solved any email issues before the February launch of the upgrade.
The new version may also quell complaints that too few apps were available to run on the original PlayBook. RIM said the update would allow developers working with Google's Android software to move their games and other content onto the new PlayBook platform.
But the upgrade won't incorporate BlackBerry Messenger, an instant messaging service known as BBM. The free service has made the BlackBerry popular with young users, particularly those in emerging markets.
"We are committed to developing a seamless BBM solution ... and we're still working on it," Smith said.
RIM provided no reason for the BBM delay but pointed out that BlackBerry smartphone users could still use a bridge function to run BBM and other features on the larger PlayBook screen.
Shares of RIM dropped 6 percent to $20.94 on the Nasdaq by late morning. Its stock has tumbled some 60 percent this year after a series of profit warnings, product missteps and a sharp drop in market share.
The PlayBook highlights RIM's recent struggle to field products that match the technical specifications and consumer appeal of Apple's iPhone and iPad, as well as devices powered by Android.
The latest setback comes just two weeks after a global outage that knocked out service for tens of millions of BlackBerry users across five continents. The disruption was a blow to RIM's reputation for reliability at time when many its core business customers are beginning to follow the consumer side of the market into the Apple camp.
"Following prior product and software delays and the recent outage, this represents another execution stumble," RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky wrote in a note to clients, referring to the PlayBook upgrade delay.
A week after the outage, RIM announced plans to introduce BBX, which merges its separate smartphone and tablet operating systems, but it has not said when either smartphones or tablets running the software would go on sale.
The PlayBook upgrade that RIM now expects by February would serve as a stop-gap ahead of tablets incorporating BBX. The move is the tablet equivalent of a batch of touchscreen BlackBerrys launched in August.
The announcement late on Tuesday could mean the launch of BBX-equipped devices in both categories might face further delays, a potential setback to RIM's hopes to reverse its market share losses. As of now, RIM has no firm deadline, only saying BBX is due out sometime next year.

Research In Motion won't upgrade the software for its much-maligned PlayBook until February, months behind schedule, and the tablet computer still won't feature the popular BlackBerry Messenger application after the makeover.
The Canadian company that makes the BlackBerry smartphone introduced the PlayBook tablet last April, rushing out a product to compete with Apple's wildly successful iPad, which essentially invented the category.
But the RIM entry wasn't well-received. Technolgy writers, financial analysts and consumers alike scorned the PlayBook because it could not handle the in-built email, calendar and contact applications that made the BlackBerry a household name.
At the time of the launch, RIM said it would add email and other features within 60 days. It later pushed the deadline back to the summer months and then to October.
The latest delay was announced on RIM's official blog late Tuesday.
"As much as we'd love to have it in your hands today, we've made the difficult decision to wait to launch BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 until we are confident we have fully met the expectations of our developers, enterprise customers and end-users," wrote David Smith, a senior vice-president for the PlayBook.
The setback comes two weeks after tens of millions of BlackBerry users across five continents suffered up to four days without service.
"Following prior product and software delays and the recent outage, this represents another execution stumble," RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky wrote in a note to clients.

Rim Hit With Consumer Lawsuits Over BlackBerry Outage

A person uses the T-Mobile Blackberry on subway tracks at West 14th street and 8th avenue in New York September 27, 2011

 Consumers in the United States and Canada have sued Research in Motion for a days-long service outage on BlackBerry devices that rippled across the world earlier this month.
The system-wide failure of the service had left tens of millions of frustrated BlackBerry users on five continents without email, instant messaging and browsing.
Research In Motion 's co-CEOs had apologized to millions of BlackBerry customers for the four-day outage that tarnished the company's image and set back its drive to catch up with Apple and other smartphone rivals.
The U.S. lawsuit, filed on Wednesday in federal court in Santa Ana, California, was brought on behalf of all U.S. BlackBerry owners with an active service agreement at the time of the email, internet and messaging interruptions.
It accuses Research in Motion of breach of contract, negligence and unjust enrichment.
The Canadian lawsuit, filed on Wednesday in Quebec Superior Court, was brought on behalf of all Canadian BlackBerry owners with an active service agreement.
Research in Motion failed to compensate BlackBerry users with refunds for loss of service and must "take full responsibility for these damages," it said.
Messages left with Research in Motion seeking comment were not immediately returned.
The U.S. lawsuit was brought by Sherman Oaks, California, resident Eric Mitchell. While Mitchell did not sign a service contract directly with Research in Motion , he paid the company fees for BlackBerry device through a mobile carrier Sprint, the complaint said.
He therefore had an "implied contract" with Research in Motion , it said.
Because of the global service outage that began on Oct. 11 and continued until Oct. 14, Mitchell was unable to use emails and other communications "in real-time, without delay, reducing and interfering with his productivity and causing him damage and loss of money," the lawsuit said.
Mitchell "paid for a service he did not receive," it said.
U.S. plaintiffs are seeking damages including cash compensation for service fees along with attorneys' fees and legal expenses.
The U.S. complaint estimates that Research in Motion earns at least $3.4 million per day in service revenue, collected from customers through carrier networks including Sprint and Verizon. "Plaintiff and the Class ultimately paid these fees," it said.
The size of the potential class of U.S. consumers would include 2.4 million California residents alone, the lawsuit said.
The case is Eric Mitchell, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated vs. Research In Motion LTD, U.S. District Court, Central District of California, case no. CV11-8872

Nokia Proclaims New Dawn With Windows Phones

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop walks under a graphic of the new Nokia Lumia smart phone as he speaks at the Nokia World event in London October 26, 2011. 

Nokia unveiled two sleek new Microsoft Windows phones on Wednesday in time for Christmas , a first step in the ailing cellphone maker's fightback against Apple and Google.
Chief Executive Stephen Elop presented the two new smartphones, the first fruits of his big bet on Microsoft software, to a 3,000-strong audience in London, saying they represented the beginning of a new era for the Finnish giant.
"It's a new dawn for Nokia," Elop said as he unveiled the high-end Lumia 800 and mid-range Lumia 710, which will go on sale in key European markets next month.
In an interview with Reuters, Elop said the world's biggest cellphone maker had transformed itself during his 13-month tenure, which has seen a shake-up of senior management and thousands of lay-offs.
"It is a different company operating on a different clock speed," he said. "The amount of effort and passion and work that's been accomplished that we were able to show off today is the best evidence of that."
Nokia shares, which have halved in value since Elop announced his high-risk partnership with Microsoft and ditched its old software platform in February, were up 3.1 percent at 1323 GMT, outperforming the wider market.
Elop said the new phones' minimalist design and superior navigation features would make them stand out among rival Windows phones, some of which have been faster to market with Microsoft's new Mango mobile platform.
Christian Lindholm, a partner at design agency Fjord who formerly managed Nokia's classic S60 and S40 user interfaces, said the new phones showed a renewed confidence in Nokia's traditional strengths.
"They're getting back to their roots -- simplicity," he said. "They've stripped out the noise and focused on what people need to communicate, navigate and socialise."
Analysts were positive about the new phones, though they said the first results of the Nokia-Microsoft pairing remained well short of an iPhone killer.
"These devices are a good start, but the reality is that they are pretty much plain vanilla Windows Phone products," said Ben Wood, director of research at UK-based telecoms analysis firm CCS Insight.
"The real fruits of Nokia's and Microsoft's labours will come next year ... but it remains a Herculean task to recapture this lucrative market from Apple and (Google platform) Android."
The Lumia 800, with vivid colours and a curved, black display, features Windows Phone's live icons on the home screen, which automatically update news, weather and Facebook feeds.
It also boasts free navigation and Microsoft's new Internet Explorer 9 browser, and will sell for about 420 euros ($584) excluding taxes and subsidies, putting it in the same bracket as Apple's iPhone and Samsung's top Galaxy phones.
The Lumia 710 will sell for about 270 euros.
"The Lumia phones do have some strong selling points in their own right ... and they offer a look and feel that's radically different from anything seen previously on a Nokia device," said John Delaney, research director at technology research firm IDC.
Nokia has suffered most in recent years in the United States, where operators have spurned its offerings in favour of the iPhone and popular Android models such as the Motorola Droid.
Elop said the company planned a portfolio of new products for the U.S. market early next year, and said Nokia did have U.S. carrier support.
In Europe, Nokia has launched the new phones with the support of 31 operators and retailers, which will help push the phones into the hands of consumers and secure subsidies.
Microsoft's mobile platform has a market share of just 2-3 percent, compared with Android's near 50 percent and Apple's 15 percent of the smartphone market.
Analysts and developers said Microsoft's platform was emerging as the third player at a fortuitous time, when Google's planned $12.5 billion offer for Motorola Mobility was creating uncertainty among other Android phone makers.
"They got really lucky. There is a lot of confusion in the Android marketplace now," said Carolina Milanesi, analyst with technology research firm Gartner.
Elop said it was an open question as to how much disruption the Google-Motorola deal would have, but said any indication of problems should help.
"I think that any confusion or questions in the other ecosystems can be something that can be an advantage to the Windows Phone," Elop told Reuters.
The phones will go on sale in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Britain in November, and in Hong Kong , India, Russia , Singapore and Taiwan before the end of the year.
Nokia also unveiled four new basic phones for emerging markets, where it still holds a leading position.
Nokia's third-quarter results beat low expectations, sparking hopes that the company can survive a painful revamp, but smartphone sales still dropped 38 percent from a year ago.
The annual Nokia World media and industry event in London, where the launch took place on Wednesday, includes speakers from the world's largest carriers, China Mobile, Vodafone, Orange and MTN.

Sprint Eyes New Financing As iPhone Swells Costs

Dan Hesse, Chief Executive Officer of Sprint Nextel, speaks during the CEO Roundtable at the International CTIA wireless industry conference at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida March 22, 2011

Sprint Nextel said it would need $7 billion in new financing agreements over the next few years to cover a cash shortfall created by Apple Inc's iPhone and a network upgrade.
"If we want to maintain a cash balance as high as $2 billion minimum at any point in time, we would want to extend the maturities of $4 billion that come due in 2012 and 2013 and raise between $1 billion to $3 billion, primarily from vendor financing," Chief Executive Dan Hesse told Reuters on Wednesday.
The company, whose shares were down 10 percent in Wednesday's trading, also said it is negotiating a new commercial contract with Clearwire Corp. Sprint is Clearwire's majority owner and its biggest customer.
Sprint said that while the iPhone would cost the company $15 billion in the next four years, it would generate $7 billion to $8 billion in projected future value for Sprint over that period.
Sprint said it will pay Apple an iPhone subsidy that is 40 percent higher, or $200 more per device, than the subsidies it pays for other phones.
But the company's executives said it should be worth the extra cost as the device is bringing in new customers.
" IPhone has an expensive contract but is worth every penny," Hesse said.
The No. 3 U.S. mobile operator forecast 2011 free cash flow in a range of a loss of $200 million to a gain of $100 million. It had previously promised positive 2011 free cash flow. Free cash flow generally refers to earnings including capital spending but excluding interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
Sprint said it still expects to report net subscriber growth for 2011 but it did not give specific numbers because it was too early to say how many iPhone customers it would add after just two weeks of sales.
The phone company, which has been struggling for years to stem subscriber defections, lost 44,000 customers in the quarter compared with the average expectation for a loss of about 11,000 from nine analysts contacted by Reuters.
Sprint's quarterly loss decreased to $301 million, or 10 cents per share, compared with Wall Street expectations for a loss of 22 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
A year earlier, it posted a loss of $911 million, or 30 cents per share.
Net operating revenue rose to $8.33 billion from $8.15 billion in the year ago quarter but was slightly below Wall Street expectations for $8.379 billion.
Sprint shares were down 24 cents at $2.46.

LG Elec Q3 Misses Consensus Handset Loss Widens

A LG Display 3D TV set (R) is displayed next to rival company Samsung Electronics' TV set for comparison at the headquarters of LG Display in Seoul July 21, 2011

South Korea 's LG Electronics reported a wider-than-expected quarterly loss on Wednesday, with its mobile phone division sinking deeper into the red, dashing hopes of a recovery in its struggling smartphone business.
LG's handset business reported losses for a sixth consecutive quarter, with losses more than doubling to 140 billion won ($124 million) from the previous quarter's 55 billion won. The results were hurt by a shortage of hit models to compete with Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd in the booming smartphone market.
Koo Bon-joon, the younger brother of LG Group's chairman and a member of its founding family, took over as CEO of the group's flagship company a year ago to rescue its troubled mobile business, but its slow recovery has disappointed analysts.
In contrast, LG's crosstown rival, Samsung, is expected to report strong growth in profit at its handset division on Friday and overtake Apple as the world's biggest smartphone vendor in unit terms.
"I think LG Elec is going to struggle more, but not to the extent that it is being knocked out by Apple and Samsung," said Park Yong-myung, a fund manager at Hanwha Investment Trust Management which owns LG Elec shares.
" Today 's earnings report does not ring the alarm because investors are already aware that it is doing badly. The issue of its floundering mobile business is already reflected in its shares, which almost halved," he said.
LG, the world's No.2 TV maker and No.3 handset maker, reported a July-September operating loss of 32 billion won ($28 million) versus a consensus forecast for a 54 billion won profit by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
That compared with a loss of 185 billion won a year ago and a profit of 158 billion won in the preceding quarter.
LG's three other divisions, TVs, home appliances and air conditioning, posted profit gains in the third quarter from a year earlier. Its TV division saw its operating profit rise to 101 billion won, compared with 86 billion won a year ago, despite weakening TV demand.
It said sales of premium TVs such as 3D models helped expand margins, although TV division's profitabily remains razor-thin at 1.9 percent.
"What can LG show in 2012 and 2013? Honestly, I can't picture that," said K.S. Jung, a fund manager at Eugene Asset Management.
"The time that LG made money from handsets and home appliances may be over...Its business can't help but shrink without any breakthrough."
LG faces a major challenge to introduce a compelling product in the high-end segment where it lost ground to companies such as Apple, Samsung and HTC.
Nokia, which reported a surprise quarterly profit last week, is also fighting back. The world's largest cellphone maker plans to unveil on Wednesday its first phones using Microsoft software, hoping they will rescue its ailing smartphone business.
LG said its handset sales fell to 21.1 million units in the third quarter, from 24.8 million the previous quarter.
The business is the company's biggest capital sinkhole. LG has lost 927 billion won from handset sales since the second quarter of last year.
The money-losing business has been also a major value destroyer for LG shareholders. Shares in LG, which has a market value of $10 billion, have lost 36 percent this year versus the market's 8 percent drop.
The stock rose 0.7 percent by 0505 GMT versus a 0.08 percent gain in the wider market.
LG trails Nokia and Samsung in handsets and competes with Samsung, Sony Corp and Panasonic Corp in flat-screen TVs.

Key Excerpts From Steve Jobs Biography

Copies of the new biography of Apple CEO Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson are displayed at a bookstore in New York October 24, 2011. 

A new biography of late Apple Inc co-founder Steve Jobs hit book-shelves on Monday, offering arguably the most comprehensive, insightful look to date at the life and times of the revered technology visionary.
Below are excerpts from the tome, penned by Walter Isaacson, relating to Apple and Jobs' sometimes stormy, often difficult relationship with Silicon Valley, partners and rivals, and how Jobs communicated his key business beliefs.
Jobs was wheeled into a board meeting on August 24, 2011, the day he handed Apple's reins to Tim Cook.
As Jobs' health deteriorated, he wrestled with the decision for weeks, discussing it with his wife, board member Bill Campbell, design chief Jonathan Ive and attorney George Riley.
When he finally made up his mind, arrangements were made to have him driven to 1 Infinite Loop and wheeled into the boardroom as secretly as possible.
"One of the things I wanted to do for Apple was to set an example of how do you transfer power right," Jobs told Isaacson. He added later that evening that his hope was to remain as active as his health allowed.
Isaacson's account of Jobs' blow-up over Google's entry into the smartphone market underscores the subsequent animosity he bore toward one-time Apple board member Eric Schmidt.
Jobs felt betrayed because Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin had treated him very much as a mentor. In 2008, he got into a shouting match with the pair, as well as with Android chief Andy Rubin, at Google's headquarters.
Jobs had offered Google an icon or two on the iPhone 's home page; but in January 2010, HTC released a phone with multi-touch and other iPhone-like features that prompted Jobs to sue.
"Our lawsuit is saying, 'Google, you fucking ripped off the iPhone , wholesale ripped us off.' Grand theft. I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I'm willing to go to thermonuclear war on this," Jobs told Isaacson the week after the suit was filed.
"They are scared to death, because they know they are guilty. Outside of Search, Google's products -- Android, Google Docs -- are shit."
Schmidt met with Jobs for coffee days later, but Jobs remained enraged and nothing was resolved.
"We've got you red-handed," Jobs told Schmidt. "I'm not interested in settling. I don't want your money, If you offer me $5 billion, I won't want it. I've got plenty of money. I want you to stop using our ideas in Android."
Jobs' infuriation stemmed partly from a fundamental conflict between Android's open-source approach and his own belief in a closed, carefully controlled ecosystem.
"We do these things not because we are control freaks," he said.
Addressing users' concerns, he said: "They are busy doing whatever it is they do best, and they want us to do what we do best. Their lives are crowded; they have other things to do than think about how to integrate their computers and devices."
"Look at the results -- Android's a mess .... We do it not to make money. We do it because we want to make great products, not crap like Android."
Jobs' well-known tirade against Adobe Systems Inc's Flash multimedia software may have had its roots in the 1980s. Apple had invested in Adobe in 1985 and they collaborated to popularize desktop publishing.
But in 1999, Jobs -- after returning to Apple -- had asked Adobe to make its video-editing software available for the new iMac but the company refused, focusing instead on Microsoft Windows. Soon after, founder John Warnock retired.
"I helped put Adobe on the map," Jobs told Isaacson. "The soul of Adobe disappeared when Warnock left. He was the inventor, the person I related to. It's been a bunch of suits since then, and the company has turned out crap."
Isaacson describes an exchange with Ryan Tate, editor of the tech gossip site Valleywag, that offers glimpses into Jobs' steadfast belief in carefully curating the types of applications available for downloading on the iPhone .
Tate emailed Jobs decrying Apple's heavy-handedness and asked: "If (Bob) Dylan was 20 today, how would he feel about your company .... Would he think the iPad had the faintest thing to do with 'revolution'? Revolutions are about freedom."
According to Tate, Jobs replied after midnight: "Yep ... freedom from programs that steal your private data. Freedom from programs that trash your battery. Freedom from porn. Yep, freedom. The times they are a changin', and some traditional PC folks feel like their world is slipping away. It is."
When Tate mentioned pornography was just fine with him and his wife, Jobs got snarky. "You might care about porn when you have kids. ... By the way, what have you done that's so great? Do you create anything, or just criticize others' work and belittle their motivations."
Tate told Isaacson he was impressed by Jobs' willingness to spar one-on-one with bloggers and customers.
"Antennagate" -- a faulty iPhone 4 antenna design that caused occasional dropped calls -- received a mountain of publicity, and Jobs came out publicly to acknowledge the mistake and announce a fix. But one little-known incident came to light in Isaacson's book.
Jobs, alerted to the possible defect while in Hawaii, first became defensive, then anguished in a conversation with director Art Levinson. Jobs brushed him off. But where Levinson failed, then-COO Tim Cook prevailed -- by quoting someone as saying Apple was becoming the new Microsoft.
"Let's get to the bottom of this," Jobs apparently said the next day. After reviewing AT&T Inc data, he realized there was indeed a problem and flew back from Hawaii, while marshaling his defenses: public relations guru Regis McKenna, admen Lee Clow and James Vincent -- and his son Reed, then a high-school senior.
"I'm going to be in meetings 24/7 for probably two days and I want you to be in every single one because you'll learn more in those two days than you would in two years at business school," Jobs said he told his son. "You're going to be in the room with the best people in the world making really tough decisions and get to see how the sausage is made."
Jobs had many ideas and projects that he hoped to develop. Apart from wanting to delve into the textbook industry, he also wanted to make the television simple and elegant.
"I'd like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use," he said.
"It would be seamlessly synched with all of your devices and iCloud. It will have the simplest user interface you can imagine. I finally cracked it."
Jobs' wanted a showcase headquarters, something that no West Coast technology company had, according to the biography. To achieve that, Jobs hired the architectural firm of Norman Foster, which he considered to be the best in the world.
The final design resembled a spaceship, a four-story, circular building with a massive interior courtyard on a 150-acre piece of landscaped land. The design was finalized after multiple iterations as Jobs got very involved in the planning, both in the vision and details.
Foster's firm assigned 50 architects to the team, and every three weeks throughout 2010 they showed Jobs revised models and options, Isaacson wrote.
The building was initially shaped like a winding race-track made of three joined semicircles around a large central courtyard. But when Jobs showed off the design to Reed, the teenager joked that the aerial view reminded him of male genitalia. While Jobs dismissed his remarks as reflecting the mind-set of a teenager, he did mention it to the architects.
"Unfortunately, once I've told you that, you're never going to be able to erase that image from your mind," he said.
The shape was then modified to a simple circle.
Jobs met President Barack Obama in the fall of 2010 in Silicon Valley. "You are headed for a one-term presidency," Jobs told Obama. To prevent that, Obama needed to be more business friendly, he said.
Jobs met Obama again later at a dinner hosted at venture capitalist John Doerr's home that was attended by other technology CEOs.
"The president is very smart, but he kept explaining to us reasons why things can't get done," he said. "It infuriates me."
Clinton and Jobs were fond of late-night conversations. On one particular chat, Clinton asked Jobs how he should deal with the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
"I don't know if you did it, but if so, you've got to tell the country," Jobs was said to have told the then-president.
Lennon was always my favorite Beatle. (Laughs as he listens to a Beatles recording in which Lennon stops during the first take and makes the band revise a chord.) Did you hear that little detour they took? It didn't work, so they went back and started from where they were.
"They were such perfectionists they kept it going and going. This made a big impression on me when I was in my thirties. ... They kept sending it back to make it closer to perfection.
"The way we build stuff at Apple is often this way. Even the number of models we'd make of a new notebook or iPod . We would start off with a version and then begin refining and refining, doing detailed models of the designs, or the buttons, or how a function operates."
Jobs told singer Sheryl Crow in May 2003 he was downloading several Eminem tracks. "He's starting to grow on me."
But after seeing the rapper in concert, he had a change of heart.
"I respect Eminem as an artist, but I just don't want to listen to his music, and I can't relate to his values the way I can to (Bob) Dylan's."
"He was sharp as a tack. He was everything I'd hoped. He was really open and honest.
"He's one of my all-time heroes. My love for him has grown over the years, it's ripened. I can't figure out how he did it when he was so young."
"Rupert's a builder, not a tearer-downer."
"For his first 10 years as CEO, Eisner did a really good job. For the last 10 years, he really did a bad job. Eisner is really good creative guy. But when Eisner had to run things, he was a terrible manager. Nobody liked working for him."
"And there was a part of him I actually liked. He's fun guy to be around at times -- smart, witty. But he had a dark side to him. His ego got the better of him."
"I am a good negotiator, but he's probably better than me because he's a cool customer," Jobs said. "But Tim's not a product person, per se."
" John Mayer is one of the best guitar players who's ever lived, and I'm just afraid he's blowing it big time," Jobs said.