Dish Network went kangaroo-crazy at this year’s CES. Not only did a mascot in a kangaroo suit greet attendees at its press conference, but CEO Joe Clayton took to the stage cradling a wallaby, which resembles a small kangaroo.
Huawei, China’s largest maker of telecommunications gear, unveiled the “Ascend” smartphone, touting it as the slimmest on the market as it moves to boost its share on the global consumer market. Huawei unveiled the Ascend smartphones – available in black, white and pink – at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The 6.68-mm thin phone will be available in April 2012 in markets from North America, Europe to Asia and will cost roughly $400, but the final price has not been set, the company said.
At theaters this weekend, low-budget horror movie “The Devil Inside” will try to push Tom Cruise off his perch at the top of the movie box office. Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” the fourth movie in the franchise, has ranked as the No. 1 film in the United States and Canada for the past two weekends. Paramount distributes “MI4″ and is now bringing competing movie “Devil Inside” to more than 2,200 theaters. The Viacom unit acquired “Devil Inside” for $1 million and expects debut weekend domestic sales around $8 million. The story about a woman who investigates her mother’s exorcisms is the only new wide release for the weekend, as January is typically a slow period for movie-going.
Samsung Electronics, the world’s top maker of memory chips and smartphones, reported a record quarterly profit, aided by one-off gains and best-ever sales of high-end phones. The South Korean firm posted 5.2 trillion won ($4.5 billion) in quarterly operating profit, beating a consensus forecast of 4.7 trillion won by analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Samsung, which surged past Apple as the world’s top smartphone maker in the third quarter, only entered the smartphone market in earnest in 2010, but its handset division is now its biggest earnings generator.
Yahoo has once again gone outside the company to breathe new life into the once-mighty Internet titan: Scott Thompson, most recently the president of eBay’s PayPal division, takes the helm on Monday, January 9th.
Barnes & Noble cut its Nook sales forecast for this year and shocked investors by saying it was considering a sale of the electronic reader and tablet business, sending its shares down sharply. The bookseller has been banking on the Nook for growth, so news that holiday sales of the basic touchscreen e-reader were disappointing raised investors’ fears that Barnes & Noble was struggling to keep up with Amazon.com’s Kindle. “They’re going to have to raise capital for Nook if they want to stay viable,” said Morningstar analyst Pete Wahlstrom.
SuVolta, a Silicon Valley start-up working to slash power used by microchips, has secured $17.6 million in new funding from its venture capital backers to help it continue its research.
By Kevin Kelleher
The opinions expressed are his own.
Failure is a funny thing in the tech world. An entrepreneur can get fired from a company he founded and his peers will watch to see what he does with the lesson. A young company can burn its cash like a Viking setting his ship on fire, but be remembered wistfully once it’s bankrupt. For startups, failure sometimes seems like a rite of passage – the painful second act of a three-act story with a happy ending.