Very early this morning, Space Shuttle Endeavour docked with the International Space Station for the final time, marking another milestone at the end of the Shuttle program.
1. Long noted for its absence, Intel is now promising to have its silicon inside smartphones in early 2012, five years after the iPhone reinvented the genre and took ARM chips to new levels as the de facto standard CPU. Intel will not license ARM tech either, but pursue designs based on its own low power architecture. Meanwhile, an Intel exec says Microsoft will make several versions of Windows 8, including four that support ARM chips—a bitter blow to traditional ally Intel.
2. App developers may be the new target for so-called patent trolls—firms whose business is in earning revenues via patent licensing and lawsuits. Recently a growing list of developers have been pressured by Lodsys, and Apple's legal department is investigating. Meanwhile a company called MacroSolve has sued a list of 10 developers for violating a patent relating to collection of questionnaire data and centralizing it. Thousands of developers may be at risk.
3. PopCap games is expanding its operations to include China's social networks. PopCap, recently in the news for an exclusive deal with Amazon's Android efforts, may be showing a new trend in gaming by taking its Plants vs Zombies best-seller and making it a social game on China's huge Renren social net. With over 117 million users in China alone, Renren is a whole new market operating outside the Facebook sphere of influence...and could be a whole new revenue stream.
4. Amazon has paid an undisclosed (but presumably huge) price to buy the A.Co, Z.Co, K.Co, and Cloud.co domain names from their Columbian domain registry owner. While A.Co probably relates to core Amazon business, Z.Co to Zappos and K.Co to Kindle, Cloud.Co has everyone pondering Amazon's plans. The firm is certain to use such expensive assets but as what? It's fueling discussions about bigger tablet and cloud-based plans.
5. The RIAA is pushing a new law in California that would allow warrantless access and search powers to authorities into CD and DVD manufacturing plants. It's an effort to tackle music and movie piracy on physical discs, which RIAA contends is killing profits and innovation, but the bill is causing concern as it proceeds into being because it violates constitutional principles of probable cause.