Daily Cuppa: Dell hand in Mars landing, Jobs liked 7-inch tablet

Overnight, the cheering continued for the rover Curiosity as it landed on Mars, broken up by a smattering of tablet and smartphone news.

You made it through Monday, so give yourself a pat on the back. Here is what happened in tech-land while you were sleeping last night.

Yesterday's Mars rover landing captivated people from around the world. Work slowed down considerably at the ZDNet offices as the event was live streamed across the globe. US vendor Dell can take some small credit for the event since the landing sequence was formulated by two NASA High Performance Computing (HPC) clusters running Dell PowerEdge servers.

Now that's good marketing.

Nokia has said "Näkemiin" to its last factory in its homeland, Finland, closing its Salo production facility last week. The phone vendor has been struggling for some years, and this close was symbolic of Nokia's accelerated withdrawal from the Finnish market.

The vendor's next hope for a revival is making phones for the Windows Phone 8 platform. But it better make an announcement about that soon or risk being overshadowed by Samsung and Apple , both of which are expecting to reveal something exciting in September.

Speaking of Samsung and Apple, the US court stoush between the two companies has led to the revelation that Steve Jobs was "receptive" to the idea of making a 7-inch iPad , before his death last year.

The Apple co-founder's thoughts came through the words of an Apple staffer who had broached the idea with Jobs several times since last Thanksgiving and suggested an iPad Mini was on the cards for the vendor, before the release of similar devices by its competitors.

Electronics vendor Sharp is in dire financial straits and may have to sell off its consumer division if it wants to survive . Sharp's market share in the consumer television space has been waning for some time, as Samsung, Sony and Panasonic remain big players in that field.

Google acquired online marketing company Wildfire for US$250 million last week, and is reportedly forking out US$100 million to retain the staff. Google doesn't want the existing talent at Wildfire to jump ship once the deal is done.

With Wildfire's viral marketing app to play a key role in Google's social marketing strategy, Google can't afford to lose the knowledge of the people that can make this possible.


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