iFive: Apple TV Rumors, UAE Quashing BlackBerry Email, Samsung Selling Drive Biz, Google Music Stumbles, RIM Eyes Nortel Patents

“For what human ill does not dawn seem to be an alleviation?” Similarly, here’s i5 to brighten up your insight into the day’s early news:

1. Apple TV rumors, of the big-screen rather than plug-in-peripheral kind, have come and gone. But over the last day or so a huge debate on the topic has arrived online with some heavyweight names taking part. The rumors now have a date: Apple will, later this year, launch a revolutionary digital Net-connected TV into the crowded marketspace occupied by household brands like LG and Toshiba. Could this be one reason for Apple’s huge, unused, data center?


2. Fresh from its confusing legal suppression of BlackBerry, the U.A.E. is to stop BlackBerry users in the region from using RIM’s secure corporate email system. The ban applies starting May 1st and is only for individuals and companies with fewer than 20 employees who subscribe to the secure BlackBerry enterprise server system. It applies across the industry, not just to BlackBerrys, but RIM’s service is likely to be hardest hit. The motive is to suppress organization of anti-government protest.

3. Samsung is hotly rumored to be selling its entire hard drive business, for a figure in the region of $1 billion to $1.5 billion–and it’s eager enough to look at a low price, apparently. The company’s hard drive business has been hitting corporate profits…and the blame is being laid squarely on Apple’s shoulders. With the iPad and SSD-equipped MacBook Airs, Apple has dramatically changed the computing scene, and public perception of hard drives. 

4. Google’s music business (Google Music, of course) has been rumored to be near delivery for ages. But now there’s evidence it’s stalling at the very last hurdle, and that negotiations with the recording industry are so “broken” that the discussion is in fact going backwards. The industry is said to be irked that Google keeps adjusting its plans at the last minute, and worried about Amazon’s efforts to promote cloud music “lockers.” 

5. RIM is also in the news for a more positive reason (unless you take a dim view of the troll-laden nature of modern patent laws): The Canadian firm is ready to top Google’s $900 million offer for the extensive Nortel patent “treasure trove” portfolio. RIM is probably most excited about the LTE 4G parts of the package, thinking how it can extend and protect its corporate smartphone business, 

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