Friday Grab Bag: Replacement Refs Make the Cut, Apple/Motorola Bury the Ax, Sort of

ESPN pays out $5.6 billion for MLB broadcast rights
ESPN will remain the broadcaster of choice for Major League Baseball for Sunday, Monday and Wednesday night baseball as the broadcast giant has inked a new deal with the league for $5.6 bn according to the Sports Business Journal.

The eight year deal will work out to be approximately $700 million per annum, more than double the current deal. Other broadcast rights are still in the process of being bid and baseball may have many windfall years ahead. I wonder what this will do to the luxury tax in the league, although I am sure that it is already covered in the CBA.

Microsoft offers SkyDrive for Android
Although it sounds vaguely like the plot for Terminator 4, it is simply Microsoft offering its SkyDrive cloud storage service as an app for Android users and they can go over to the Google Play store and pick it up. While it can run on early versions of the Android operating system it is optimized for version 4.0.

Apple’s win a loss for standard-essential patents?
While I write a good deal about patent issues due to the seemingly constant state of litigation that is ongoing in the mobile and handheld space, I am far from an expert on the topic, and do not pretend to be so. An interesting look at some of the after affects from Apple’s win over Microsoft can be found at this piece from Reuters.

An interesting conclusion I gain from the piece is that the host of patents that Google gained in the Motorola purchase may not have quite the value that the company believed that it would have, and that could make the deal a lot less valuable than previously believed.

ESPN’s top college football markets
Ever wonder why a game is on and how well it did in terms of viewership? Well ESPN did not release all of its market data but it has provided a look at the top 25 markets, but from last year and going back 12 years.

There is a lot of interesting data in there, mined quite well to show you the shifting interest in teams , regions and leagues. The only two areas that stayed in the top 5 over the entire span were Birmingham and Columbus, Ohio.

Motorola and Apple bury the ax in Ge

Peace at last? That is probably too much to ask but at least one bone of contention between the two has been buried as Motorola Mobility and Apple have agreed on a FRAND licenses in Germany. An earlier attempt had failed when Motorola asked for 2.25% revenue rate.

Apple called the deal “fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory” and will call for Apple to pay Motorola an unspecified sum for all previous use of Motorola technology, Foss Patents reports. It also said that the deal is probably a result of the ruling in the Apple/Samsung case.

Images of next generation Sony tablet leaked
As the release date for Windows 8 nears more news about the hardware developers plans appear to be leaking out, intentionally or unintentionally. Sony is the latest with a very interesting looking tablet called the VAIO Duo 11.

Sony’s efforts in the tablet space have been met with less than open arms but the image shows a tablet that has a built-in, fold out keyboard in a sharp looking industrial design. The tablet appears to be running Microsoft Office, meaning that it uses an Intel or AMD processor.

NFL Replacement Refs to start season
Well one group made it through the pre-season without getting the chop and that is the NFL’s replacement reps. Not happy with this since I am pretty sure I saw a couple of 17 yard penalties marched off last week.

I suspect that no matter how well they actually do, fans for half of the teams will be blaming the refs on everything from their teams’ loss to costing them in the points category in their Fantasy Football league. I wonder how long this will go on or will the NFL change its mind in less than a week?

Samsung shows five pending Windows 8 phones

Samsung took the floor at the IAF trade show in Berlin and backed the truck up with a wide range of new and future devices including the Galaxy Note II, hybrid PCs and a new high end camera. It also previewed five smartphones that will be using Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system.

The devices, with info on them here from Gizmag, will all carry the brand name ATIV as the company appears ready to use that moniker to cover aa wide range of next generation devices including PCs and phones. The official launch of Windows 8 is in late October and expect to see more details from all of the players adopting Microsoft’s Windows 8 for a variety of products.



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