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The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Two Outside Bids for Dell Threaten Founder's Buyout Plan

An anonymous reader writes: Seven weeks ago, Dell announced a definitive agreement to be taken private by a group led by founder and CEO Michael Dell and the private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, assisted by a $2 billion loan from Microsoft and debt financing from a group of big banks. The deal was valued at $24.4 billion ($13.65 per share of Dell common stock), but allowed for a 45-day "go shop" period for alternative bids to be submitted to a special committee of Dell's board. Not all large shareholders were happy with the price, and early this month billionaire investor Carl Icahn threatened to tie up the buyout in court unless a large special dividend was paid to shareholders — without showing interest in buying the company himself. More recently, the private equity firm Blackstone Group jumped into the fray, and by Friday night's deadline both Blackstone and Icahn had submitted bids for Dell exceeding the original $13.65 per share agreement. Blackstone is said to be interested in installing Oracle's Mark Hurd as CEO, replacing Michael Dell. As Hurd was fired as Hewlett Packard's CEO in 2010 for alleged sexual misconduct involving an outside consultant named Jodie Fisher, he might have difficulty landing another CEO job at a publicly traded company; the Dell position could be an intriguing fit for both sides.
Australia

Submission + - Adobe to Australians: Fly to US for cheaper software (computerworld.com.au)

angry tapir writes: "It's been a long-running joke that it's cheaper for Australians to get a plane ticket to the US if they want to buy Adobe's Creative Suite instead of paying local prices. But appearing before a parliamentary inquiry into the disparity between IT prices in Australia and elsewhere, Adobe's local chief appeared to suggest just that."
News

Submission + - GoPro issues DMCA take down on product review it does not like (arstechnica.com)

skade88 writes: Ars is reporting that, GoPro, the company that makes cameras used in extreme sports such as sky diving and swimming with dolphins has issued a DMCA take down notice on a review At DigitalRev that they do not like. See DMCA notice here

From the article: "DigitalRev has a blog post up about the takedown, suggesting that most DMCA takedowns are "abusive" in nature. "We hope GoPro is not suggesting, with this DMCA notice, that camera reviews should be done only when they are authorized by the manufacturers," writes DigitalRev. "GoPro (or should we call you Go*ro instead?), we'd be interested to hear what you have to say" about the infringement notice."

Businesses

Submission + - Sony closes WipEout developer Studio Liverpool (eurogamer.net)

RogueyWon writes: "Eurogamer is reporting that Sony has closed its subsidiary developer Studio Liverpool. Beginning its life in 1984 under the name Psygonis, the development house has played an important role in the history of computer and video gaming, publishing classics such as the Lemmings series. Since its acquisition by Sony in 1993, the studio has been best known for its work on the WipEout franchise, which helped to establish the Playstation console as a successful brand. Sony's statements indicate that it will seek to find positions for staff in its other development houses, but that some redundancies will be necessary."
XBox (Games)

Modded Xbox Bans Prompt EFF Warning About Terms of Service 254

Last month we discussed news that Microsoft had banned hundreds of thousands of Xbox users for using modified consoles. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has now pointed to this round of bans as a prime example of the power given to providers of online services through 'Terms of Service' and other usage agreements. "No matter how much we rely on them to get on with our everyday lives, access to online services — like email, social networking sites, and (wait for it) online gaming — can never be guaranteed. ... he who writes the TOS makes the rules, and when it comes to enforcing them, the service provider often behaves as though it is also the judge, jury and executioner. ... While the mass ban provides a useful illustration of their danger, these terms can be found in nearly all TOS agreements for all kinds of services. There have been virtually no legal challenges to these kinds of arbitrary termination clauses, but we imagine this will be a growth area for lawyers."
Games

Games Workshop Goes After Fan Site 174

mark.leaman writes "BoingBoing has a recent post regarding Games Workshop's aggressive posturing against fan sites featuring derivative work of their game products. 'Game publisher and miniature manufacturer Games Workshop just sent a cease and desist letter to boardgamegeek.com, telling them to remove all fan-made players' aids. This includes scenarios, rules summaries, inventory manifests, scans to help replace worn pieces — many of these created for long out of print, well-loved games...' As a lifelong hobby gamer of table, board, card and miniature games, I view this as pure heresy. It made me reject the idea of buying any Games Workshop (read Warhammer) products for my son this Christmas. Their fate was sealed, in terms of my wallet, after I Googled their shenanigans. In 2007 they forbid Warhammer fan films, this year they shut down Vassal Modules, and a while back they went after retailers as well. What ever happened to fair use?"
Emulation (Games)

Nintendo Upset Over Nokia Game Emulation Video 189

An anonymous reader writes "Nintendo is investigating potential copyright infringement by Nokia during some video demos of their N900 phone, which can be seen emulating Nintendo games. Nintendo spokesman Robert Saunders says: 'We take rigorous steps to protect our IP and our legal team will examine this to determine if any infringement has taken place.' In the video, Nokia says, 'Most publishers allow individual title usage, provided that the user is in possession of the original title.'"

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