Eric Johnson

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AllThingsD Week in Review: Patent Wars Redux and Netflix Thinks “Big”

patent_all_thingsIn case you missed anything, here’s a quick roundup of some of the news that powered AllThingsD this week:

  1. Duck and cover! The so-called “Rockstar Consortium,” led by Apple, that controls Nortel’s former patents, filed eight patent lawsuits this week against Google and pretty much every Android device maker.
  2. “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black” have paid off for Netflix, but chief content officer Ted Sarandos isn’t done yet, saying that Netflix could become a first-run movie distributor, too. “Meaning, why not premiere movies on Netflix, the same day they’re opening in theaters?”
  3. For more than a decade, Google has been trying to stay ahead of the future of online shopping. Now it has a new commerce boss, longtime engineer Sridhar Ramaswamy, who sat down with Jason Del Rey to explain Mountain View’s latest visions.
  4. In its first quarter with two new iPhones on shelves at the same time, Apple soundly beat analyst expectations. CEO Tim Cook explained in the fourth-quarter earnings call that the cheaper iPhone 5c was never intended for the low end, and cautioned that the Retina iPad mini might be in short supply.
  5. Speaking of iPads … the iPad Air is thinner and lighter, but is it worth your $500? In All Things Reviewed, Walt Mossberg “found it a pleasure to use,” and got some surprising results when he subjected the new tablet to his usual battery tests.
  6. After two years of promising to break into the Web TV business with a set-top box, Intel appears to be backing off. Sources say the company is in advanced talks with Verizon to hand off its Intel Media division.
  7. At long last, Google unveiled its new flagship phone, the Nexus 5. Its goal: To deliver “the right information, when you want it, at your fingertips,” by integrating Google’s services more tightly than ever.
  8. Several sources tell AllThingsD that Yahoo’s employee-review system, implemented a year ago under then-new CEO Marissa Mayer, is coming to the fore, and may lead to the firings of more than 500 underperforming employees.
  9. How companies define their all-important “active users” stat can be a bit fuzzy. Case in point: Google, which this week confirmed that Google+’s self-reported monthly active numbers get a boost from notifications on the search giant’s other properties.
  10. As it tries to optimize how its components move from Asia to Europe, HP is making a big bet on one of the latter continent’s more troubled countries, Greece. Here’s why.

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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle