Tech wrap: EBay acts on Hunch

November 21, 2011

EBay said it acquired the data analysis firm Hunch to help it develop more recommendation technology for its online marketplace. Hunch analyzes data from social networks like Facebook and from questionnaires to make personal recommendations. EBay said Hunch will help it suggest relevant products for shoppers on its online marketplace. Chris Dixon, Tom Pinckney and Matt Gattis, who founded Hunch in 2009, will stay on at eBay and remain based in New York. The purchase price was not disclosed, although tech blog Uncrunched pegged it at around $80 million.

Hewlett-Packard reported quarterly revenue slightly better than Wall Street estimates, after the bell. The world’s largest technology company by sales said non-GAAP net revenue in the fiscal fourth quarter inched up 1 percent to $32.3 billion. Analysts had predicted revenue of $32.05 billion on average, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Retailers are saving some of their deepest discounts on Black Friday for video game products, with large chains Wal-Mart and Best Buy putting some rock-bottom prices tags on hot games to lure shoppers into stores. To accommodate pressured buyers, retailers are heavily discounting top games, from Electronic Arts’ “Battlefield 3,” to Warner Brothers’ “Batman: Arkham City,” and Microsoft’s “Gears of War 3.”

Olympus said that a third-party panel appointed by the company to look into an accounting scandal has, so far, found no evidence that funds from its M&A deals went to organized crime syndicates or that “yakuza” gangsters were involved. A unit from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department’s organized crime division has joined the investigation, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday. But the source added it was premature to say if gangsters were involved.

Hard drive maker Western Digital said it was asked to pay $525 million in an arbitration brought by competitor Seagate. The award involves claims brought against Western Digital and one employee — who was earlier with Seagate — alleging misappropriation of confidential information and trade secrets, Western Digital said in a statement.

Nvidia will again be the supplier of graphic processor units to Apple after rival AMD botched efforts to create a GPU for Apple’s MacBook Air laptop, tech blog SemiAccurate writes. The decision was made about three years after Apple replaced Nvidia GPUs with by those made by ATI/AMD and two years after the first ATI/AMD Macs in recent memory hit the shelves.

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