This column highlights the most useful and interesting business and financial commentary on technology every day.
Link: Facebook Stock Price Up 10.3% on the Day as Biggest Lockup Expires, Irrational Changes Are Over
(NASDAQ:FB) share prices are up today, with shares at 21.91, 10.32% above yesterday’s level. It represents a 4.6 billion market capitalization gain. Today the company is experiencing its biggest stock-lockup expiration, with 773 million Facebook shares held by employees now eligible to be sold on the open market. Notably, 504 million shares held by Mark Zuckerberg are eligible, but he declared that he wouldn’t sell them.
“Facebook’s stock closed at 19.86 yesterday. The stock was expected to take a slight hit following this largest lockup expiration, but the market anticipated the hit with a few days of downturn. At the same time, investors are not betting anymore on yet another price drop through short selling — a way to effectively pocket money when shares go down.”
New York Times Bits
Link: RIM's Chief Is Confident of BlackBerry 10 Success
“Thorsten Heins, the chief executive of Research In Motion
(NASDAQ:RIMM), tells his employees, developers and customers that BlackBerry 10, the company’s new phones and the software platform running them, is a very big bet for RIM. If it catches on, he has saved the company.
“In a meeting with New York Times
editors and reporters, he expressed his confidence. ‘I don’t expect things to get much worse,’ he said.
“It was clear from the presentation that the phone, which will have its debut on Jan. 30, will not introduce any significant hardware innovations. It has the rectangular slab look of smartphones already on the market.”
Link: Slowpoke Barnes & Noble Finally Launches Nook for Windows 8
“Barnes & Noble
(NYSE:BKS) has finally gotten around to releasing a Nook app for Windows 8
. The move comes a month after the launch of the operating system and weeks after Amazon
(NASDAQ:AMZN) launched its Windows 8 Kindle app.
“The app, which also runs on Windows RT, offers users access to tons of books, magazines, newspapers and comics. No surprises there.
“What is notable, however, is that Barnes & Noble has opted to use its own ‘paper’ user interface rather than following Microsoft’s
(NASDAQ:MSFT) styling. For fans of Windows 8′s look and feel, the switch might be jarring, but ultimately it’s not the biggest deal. The Kindle app, on the other hand, follows the interface very closely.”
Link: Tech Firms Launch New Website to Fix Patent Mess
“The US patent system is supposed to foster innovation and reward inventors. But in recent years it has devolved into an epidemic of licensed blackmail with shell companies using flimsy patents to shake down productive companies and, especially, the tech sector.
“Today, technology firms launched a new website called Patent Progress
to call attention to the patent problem and to share solutions from legal and policy experts. The site is run by the Computer & Communications Industry Association, an advocacy group that counts Google
(NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft, Yahoo
(NASDAQ:YHOO) and Facebook among its members. Its contributors include leading intellectual property and antitrust lawyers and scholars.”
Link: If Foxconn Replaced Its Humans With Robots, Would You Feel Better?
“Foxconn, the Taiwanese company that manufactures devices for Apple
(NYSE:NOK), and Sony
(NYSE:SNE), has over 1.2 million employees, mostly in factories on the Chinese mainland. By 2016, it would like to replace as many of those as possible with robots that can do the job 24/7.
“That would address the human rights concerns
about the company's working conditions. But is it worth putting 1.2 million people out of work? It's the classic globalization question.”
No positions in stocks mentioned.