MediaFile

Tech wrap: EBay acts on Hunch

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.

Western Digital enters crowded digital living room with new device

This holiday season, technology companies are singing a familiar refrain: “Everybody gather around the TV.” With Apple Inc and Google Inc already rolling out their devices to plug into the home television, the connected living room just got more crowded, as hard drive maker Western Digital Corp has updated its television media player just in time to compete with the likes of Apple TV and Google TV for the almighty holiday shopping dollar.WD TV Live Hub

Western Digital’s latest offering, the WD TV Live Hub at a price point of $199, is an update to the Lake Forest, California-based company’s  last media player. A key difference is this one comes with a 1 terabyte hard drive built-in, while the previous version had to be connected to an external hard drive for stored movies, music and photos. Western Digital also upgraded the interface on the device and gave it  a wireless keyboard made it compatible with wireless keyboards, which users can wield from the couch. Like the previous version of WD TV, this device has Internet connectivity. It can stream movies from Netflix, download films from Blockbuster, access a user’s Facebook page and more.

While Apple TV is priced lower at $99, that device is mostly geared toward streaming rented TV shows and movies over the Web, whereas Western Digital is taking a bet that users will want to download movies and TV shows, not just stream them. Hence that 1 terabyte of storage.

Seagate hopes to broaden reach with new hard drives

Seagate_FA_GoFlex_USB3_top Have you ever looked at your hard drive and said “I wish it could do more”? Seagate thinks it has the answer. With its new “GoFlex” external hard drives for consumers, Seagate said it is hoping to expand appeal by simplifying how their products connnect to computers. Housed externally, rather than inside of a laptop computer, Seagate said the new drives will feature attachments to connect to the internet and a television. Each attachment will be sold separately, but the idea is not unlike the strategy offered by Apple for its iPhones, iPads and iPods that connect to various different docks to connect to stereo systems, GPS devices and car stereos. Seagate said it hopes the GoFlex connectors will catch on enough that other companies will want to design their own types of attachments for various uses, such as connecting directly into a computer instead of through a cord. Whether this will catch on or will be seen as a mere gimmick is yet to be seen, but Seagate says it’s been working on the product for the past year and hopes it will find mass appeal.

Have you ever looked at your hard drive and said “I wish it could do more”?

Seagate thinks it has the answer.

With its new “GoFlex” external hard drives for consumers, Seagate said it is hoping to expand appeal by simplifying how their products connnect to computers.

Housed externally, rather than inside of a laptop computer, Seagate said the new drives will feature attachments to connect to the internet and a television.