Kodak Wants To Sell Film Business, Focus On Printers


Soon, Kodak will cease to be a film company. After spending almost a decade swirling the pot and the past eight months going directly down the drain, Kodak has decided to sell its traditional film businesses (and some other camera businesses) to become a fully commercial-focused businesses, with printers at center stage.

Technically, the other businesses Kodak wants to sell are called “personalized imaging” and “document imaging,” which includes those kiosks you find in stores to develop digital photos and a business that takes pictures of people riding roller coasters and such in theme parks.

The WSJ reports that this comes on the heels of a disappointing run to sell the company’s trove of 1,100 patents, which Kodak originally believed would be worth $ 2.2 billion – $ 2.6 billion. Unfortunately for the 100-year-old-plus company, the auction didn’t necessarily foster competition between the prospective buyers, with Apple, Google, and others wishing to form a consortium that would jointly purchase the patents.

In short, that would mean that those companies couldn’t use Kodak’s patents against one another in court, yet could pull freely from the technologies for their own products. It’s a win for everyone but Kodak, as the joint purchase has brought the price down. According to WSJ sources, bids have come in around $ 250 million.

In January, Kodak filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection as it struggled to generate a positive cash flow during the digital camera boom. Considering Kodak actually invented the first digital camera, the company was incredibly late to that game, and it may have cost them the business.

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Samsung, Apple Both Come Away Losers In South Korean Patent Trial


While nine jurors in California attempt to turn days worth of allegations and testimony into a binding legal verdict, the Apple/Samsung patent fiasco finally came to a head in Samsung’s native South Korea. According to the Wall Street Journal, both companies took a licking when it came to a verdict passed down by a South Korean court earlier today.

Here’s how the sordid situation breaks down.

Apple: The company was found to have infringed on two of Samsung’s technology patents (CNN reports that they pertain to Samsung’s implementation of Wi-Fi), and have been order to pay out a total of ₩40,000,000 (about $ 35,200).

Samsung: The hometown hero didn’t get off scot-free, as the company was found to have violated one of Apple’s design patents, specifically one dealing with the bounce-back animation seen when a user tries to scroll past the edge of a webpage. The price tag for that transgression? ₩25,000,000, or about $ 22,000.

Those figures seem awfully paltry considering what these companies were found doing (Tim Cook could probably find that kind of money between his couch cushions), but they have to do more than just pay up. In addition to monetary damages, both companies are barred from selling certain devices in their respective portfolios. Though hot new devices like the iPhone 4S and the Galaxy S III have been spared from the sales injunction, the list is still a considerable one — in all, the court banned the sales of the iPhone 4, iPad 2, Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S, and Galaxy S II devices.

All things considered, neither company is walking away from this case much worse off financially than when they entered, though arguably Apple got the short end of the stick here. Samsung can no longer sell two older phones (the S and S II), along with a phone that Samsung’s own lawyers said didn’t sell very well in yet another ongoing Apple v. Samsung trial. Since Apple’s tack had been to only release one new smartphone and tablet per year, sustained consumer interest in those older devices could mean Apple will take a hit in sales. Then again, with some new hardware right around the corner, this is probably ideal time (if such a thing exists) for a sales injunction on old device.

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NBC And Amazon Add Parks & Rec, Battlestar Galactica And More To Prime Instant Video


Amazon and NBC have long shared a happy relationship, but today they’re stepping it up a notch. The companies have just announced that they are expanding their content licensing agreement to stream hundreds of new shows on Amazon’s Prime instant video service.

Shows will include Parks and Recreation, Parenthood, Friday Night Lights, Heroes, and Battlestar Galactica, my personal favorite.

Prime customers will now be able to watch already-aired seasons of these shows, plus hundreds more. As per usual, they can stream these episodes on Kindle Fire, iPad, Xbox 360, or PlayStation 3. Amazon is also offering a month of free Prime status for users who aren’t enrolled in the premium service.

Here’s what Amazon had to say about the deal:

We continue to invest heavily in our content selection for Prime members, and have now reached over 22,000 movies and TV episodes available instantly with unlimited streaming.

About a year ago, Amazon inked a deal with NBCUniversal to stream 1,000 various shows and movies on the Prime service. That was back when there were only about 7,000 TV shows and 2,000 movies on the service. Today, however, NBC is bringing its top-notch programming to the service, which seems like a win for everyone.

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Apple’s New Mini iPad Expected To Take The Stage At October Event


Tell me if this particular rumor sounds familiar — rather than lump the announcements of a new iPhone and a new iPad into a single event, Apple will instead unveil the products at two distinct events. Daring Fireball’s John Gruber offered up that tantalizing possibility earlier in the week, and now it seems that he may have hit the nail on the head.

According to a new report from AllThingsD, sources close to the situation have confirmed that Apple will pull back the curtain on a new, smaller iPad during a special event in October. Meanwhile, all signs still point to an iPhone unveiling on September 12, so rabid members of the tech press and Apple’s fan club should have plenty of time to dig into one new product before another takes the stage.

Rumors of a smaller iPad have been making the rounds ever since Apple’s 10-inch tablet first hit the market, and those rumblings have only grown in intensity since companies like Amazon and Google entered the fray. At this point, there’s still hardly any concrete information about Apple’s smaller iPad (unless you’re the type to read too much into sketchy Chinese cases), but there’s little question that Apple’s tiny tablet would mean plenty of trouble for those two players in particular.

Amazon’s pint-sized Kindle Fire has been one of the only tablets to give the iPad line a run for its money in terms of sales, and the company is expected to unveil the Fire’s successor at a press event on September 6. Meanwhile, Google worked with Asus to produce the impressive Nexus 7, and recent speculation seems to indicate that Nexus 7 sales could easily outpace Google’s own expectations. Considering the iPad’s tremendous popularity though, we may soon see Amazon and Google’s momentum take a nosedive should Apple push out a product to compete in the same niche those companies’ devices currently occupy.

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Rumor Mill: Apple Is Holding Two Separate Events For The New iPhone And iPad

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The Intermacweb is in a tizzy today at the possibility of two upcoming Apple events – one on September 12 for a September 21st iPhone launch and another for iPad news, potentially for the fabled iPad Mini. The rumors, fanned by Gruber and Jim Dalrymple, posit that Apple is beyond the “One More Thing” excitement of the old days and is instead planning to make the most of each launch.

Quoth Gruber:

I’m thinking it makes more sense for Apple to hold two events. First, an iPhone event, focused solely on the new iPhone and iOS 6. Then, the iPhone ships nine days later, and there’s another wave of iPhone-focused attention as the reviews come out. Then, in the first or second week of October, Apple holds its traditional “music event”, exactly along the lines of the events at which they’ve been debuting new iPods for the last decade.

Apple rarely does concurrent launches, at least concurrent launches of competing mobile products. You’ll recall that Apple has launched iPod products in quick succession – they announced the new Touch, the touchscreen Nano, and the new Shuffle at the same time in 2010 – I can’t recollect a dual iPhone/iPad launch.

The iPad and the iPhone are the pride of Apple. There is no real reason to have them crowd each other, especially as we leave Back-To-School season and roll into the holidays when a new iPad may be just what Santa ordered.

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