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Apple's crumbling share price
In just over two months, Apple's share price hit a record high of $700 a share, and then plummeted to $525 a share in mid-November. What happened? A series of mistakes, missteps and a management shake-up caused the Cupertino, Calif.-based technology giant to fall dramatically only weeks after the iPhone 5 and iPad mini -- along with a bevy of other hardware refreshes -- were launched. The share price fall wiped more than $150 billion off the firm's market cap and many began to question Apple's decision-making processes.
Scott Forstall, the iOS chief, was pushed out of the company, despite prior suggestions that he could one day replace chief executive Tim Cook. Apple is now beginning its recovery, but for a while things looked tense.
Google's $12.5bn acquisition of Motorola, already $13bn
Google bought Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion but since its acquisition, the figure has risen to $13 billion thanks to the incurring of restructuring costs. In buying the smartphone-building unit, Google acquired around 17,000 patents, which it needed to fend off legal challenges from its Android mobile operating system, but the division continues to hemorrhage money.
However, a new lawsuit may determine exactly how much those 17,000 patents are worth, and it would be seriously embarrassing for the search giant if those patents did not in fact amount to, or even close to the $12.5 billion the firm paid for Motorola Mobility in the first place.
U.K. ISPs forced to block The Pirate Bay access; blocks bypassed in minutes
After a lengthy legal battle, the largest Internet providers in the U.K. blocked The Pirate Bay after the Magnet-link and torrent sharing Web site was found to have facilitated copyright infringement. The ISPs reluctantly imposed server-side blocks to prevent users from accessing the site. All in all, more than 95 percent of U.K. broadband subscribers were blocked from accessing the site.
But, there was a problem. Proxy sites and bypass sites were set up almost immediately and users could, within minutes of the final block by British Telecom (BT) -- which has more than six million customers -- bypass the blocks and access their torrent-sharing site once again. Was this illegal? No, because the Internet providers did what the court said, but the court did not say Internet users were barred from bypassing the blocks.