Twitter is adding more global firepower to its ambitions to cosy up to broadcasters and TV advertisers by buying France’s Mesagraph, and it is also acquiring SecondSync in the UK. Measgraph works with broadcasters in France such as Canal+, France Televisions, M6, TF1. With the acquisition, Twitter is buying infrastructure: instead of building up relationships in Europe, Mesagraph has them in place already, working with analytics provider Médiamétrie as well as Microsoft and Mediabrands on marketing. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but the company says it will be working out of Twitter’s UK office in London.
The Supreme Court appears willing to make it tougher to approve patents for computer software in a case that is being closely watched by technology companies. But the justices on Monday struggled to come up with a middle ground that would recognize true inventions as opposed to those that simply take an old idea and blend it with computer wizardry. The outcome of the case could send tremors through an industry that touches virtually every sector of the economy, from gadgets on smart phones to advances in anti-lock brakes. Companies like IBM say new restrictions could nullify thousands of existing patents.
When Apple and Samsung step back into court today it will be one more round in a long running dispute but is it also becoming a drag on Apple’s resources, and a reputation millstone that Apple carries around its neck? It may well be true that Samsung’s close cloning of some aspects of the Apple hardware and UI environment has limited sales of Apple products. Of course it is hard to say, but in the latest court battle Apple are claiming $2 billion or $40 per handset sold in the Galaxy S3 and its contemporary Note products. The question though, in terms of Apple’s performance post March 2012, is whether these contested features are in any sense responsible for Apple’s under-achievement relative to what was expected of it.
According to a story from the LA Times at the end of last year, Tesla will launch an affordable car by 2015. But will an affordable high-end electric car bring in a range of new customers? Currently, Tesla’s cheapest car is the Model S, which retails at around $70,000. But the manufacturer thinks it can bring the price down for a new model as it looks to ramp up production. By affordable Tesla means in the region of $40,000, which is slightly over the average car price in the US, but still within the ball-park. Tesla has been open about wanting to expand its range and appeal to more customers and this reported cheaper car is a first step.