Good morning. Here are some other tidbits from around the web.
12/9/2015 9:19:13 AM
Sign up for our new free newsletter to get three time-saving tips each Friday — and get free copies of Paul Thurrott's Windows 11 and Windows 10 Field Guides (normally $9.99) as a special welcome gift!
"*" indicates required fields
Vaio + Toshiba + Fujitsu?
Toshiba previously revealed that it was pursuing spinning off its PC business and combining it with that of Fujitsu. But The Wall Street Journal reports today that Vaio, which was spun off from Sony, is interested in getting into the consolidation game too.
Vaio is ready to consider a merger with the PC divisions of Toshiba Corp. and Fujitsu Ltd., the company’s chief executive said. “If a deal is advantageous to Vaio, we would consider it,” Vaio CEO Yoshimi Ota said.
While a tie-up would allow Toshiba and Fujitsu to unload problem areas, it is unclear whether the new PC maker could survive global competition. The three companies’ units share the same weakness—poor global distribution—and would probably need significant job cuts, which are difficult in Japan, analysts said.
Toshiba Chief Executive Masashi Muromachi said this week the company planned to announce by the end of this year what it would do with its PC unit, adding that a deal with Fujitsu and Vaio was “an option.”
Well, consolidation is inevitable, but I feel like the shrinking of the PC market will also result in some firms just disappearing. And honestly, I’m not sure many would even notice if these three just disappeared.
EU seeks an end to confusing digital content rights
Among the many weirdnesses of the EU is that each member country still has its own rules and laws. Among these are digital media use rights, where the distributors of digital content—Netflix, Spotify, whatever—must license their content individually in each country. Which means, of course, that a user in one country can’t always use their own content when the travel to a different EU country.
Reuters reports that this could be coming to an end.
The European Union wants to allow consumers access to their subscriptions to online content such as TV, films, sports and music wherever they travel in the 28-member bloc, setting it up for a battle with media groups.
The proposal on “cross-border portability” was presented by the executive European Commission on Wednesday along with a longer-term strategy for making copyrighted works more easily available across the EU.
As always, those in power seek to prevent freedom to maximize profits, but there is no legitimate reason to block such usage. In fact, this needs to happen globally. And it will. Hopefully in our lifetimes.
Apple delivers iOS 9.2
My iPhone is busy updating to iOS 9.2 as I write this. So what’s new? A lot, as it turns out:
Mozilla kills Firefox OS for smart phones
I suspect many didn’t even know that Mozilla made a smart phone OS, or that it sold such a thing to end users via partners. No worries, they don’t anymore.
A statement from Mozilla senior vice president Ari Jaaksi:
“We are proud of the benefits Firefox OS added to the Web platform and will continue to experiment with the user experience across connected devices. We will build everything we do as a genuine open source project, focused on user experience first and build tools to enable the ecosystem to grow.
Firefox OS proved the flexibility of the Web, scaling from low-end smartphones all the way up to HD TVs. However, we weren’t able to offer the best user experience possible and so we will stop offering Firefox OS smartphones through carrier channels.
We’ll share more on our work and new experiments across connected devices soon.”
Rafael got a Firefox phone, so I was able to try this thing out briefly several months back. It was slow, of course, and the app story wasn’t exactly inspiring. I do have Firefox on my Android and iPhone handsets, and I see that the firm just released a content blocking app on iOS called Focus. Supporting the major mobile platforms seems like the way to go. Whether you’re Microsoft or Mozilla.