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Breakfast briefing: Cisco's $1.2bn Wi-Fi, Jelly Bean forgets December and copyright reforms sink

Breakfast briefing

Posted on 19 Nov 2012 at 07:45

Today's top stories include a Cisco windfall for three scientists, an Android 4.2 glitch that blocks birthdays in December, US copyright reforms killed and the struggle to make cash by developing apps for Apple.

How to make $1.2bn in six years

Cisco has announced plans to buy wireless networking start-up Meraki for a cool $1.2bn, six years after the company was started by three computer scientists from MIT. According to Sequoia Capital, the trio behind the technology became valuable to Cisco as Ethernet connections were overtaken by wireless.

Indeed, as the company explained in its statement: "The acquisition of Meraki enables Cisco to make simple, secure, cloud managed networks available to our global customer base of mid-sized businesses and enterprises. These companies have the same IT needs as larger organisations, but without the resources to integrate complex IT solutions."

Jelly Bean goes up to 11, but kills December

The early adopters running Android flavour Jelly Bean 4.2 have discovered a glitch that makes it impossible to add birthdays for contacts born in December. Google has acknowledged the bug, and is working on a fix for the problem, but there's no date for a fix release.

"The cause turns out to be a subtle but common one in the world of programming: an off-by-one mistake, where the array that's used for the month references is zero-indexed, so it goes {0,1,2,3… 11}," The Guardian explains. "But the month numbers go {1,2,3….12}. If you shift the index by 1, but forget to allow the highest value of the array to be 12 rather than 11, you'll kill December."

Rights groups sink US copyright reforms

US Republican officials have retracted a report that recommended several web-friendly copyright initiatives, apparently after coming under pressure from rights-holder groups the MPAA and RIAA. The Republican Study Committee had recommended real reforms that would empower consumers in changes to copyright laws, but according to TechDirt, the influential rights group went "ballistic" over the ideas in the document and the committee retracted the paper, claiming it had not been adequately reviewed internally.

Apple's twilight workforce

Planning on making a fortune flogging iPhone apps? Don't give up the day job just yet. The New York Times has a feature highlighting how some people do make money from the platform, but how others have gambled the farm on developing new apps in the hope of creating the next Angry Birds only to find it's tough to make a living.

While some developers easily rake in more than $1m a year, a small survey found a quarter of respondents had made fewer than $200 in lifetime royalties from the platform.

Megaupload judge not given full facts

The fact that Megaupload's legitimate users were scuppered when the US closed the site down over copyright infringement is nothing new, but TorrentFreak has seen documents explaining just how high a portion – 50% of the files stored - were not dodgy in the slightest. The site claims more than 15,000 US soldiers lost family photo files when the site was taken offline, but also explains that the US seizure warrant failed to mention to the judges that there were legitimate users of the service.

Apple's market share problems

Apple's share price decline in recent weeks is well documented, but Business Insider has a detailed analysis of some of the reasons for concern, in particular falling market share for the iPhone maker as Android continues to grow and rival manufacturers put increasing price pressure on Apple's lofty margins.

"With each year that goes by, moreover, the competitive advantage that Apple has with its gadgets and ecosystem is continuing to narrow," the analysis concludes. "Apple will not be able to protect both its market share and its profit margin - it will be forced to choose between one or the other. And given the importance of market share in a platform market, the smart strategic decision is almost certainly to protect market share."

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User comments

So even Republicans think copyright should be reformed......The RIAA/MPAA have views that are believed to be dated by the REPUBLICANS!

By tech3475 on 19 Nov 2012

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