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November 30, 2012

Technology News Briefs — Nov. 30, 2012

Barnes & Nobel Reports $2.2M Profit

Barnes & Noble reported a second-quarter net income of $2.23 million Nov. 29 due to strengthening sales of digital content and Nook e-readers.

This year’s report is a vast improvement over last year’s net loss of $6.6 million.

Loss per share sat at four cents compared to a loss of 17 cents per share a year earlier. According to Thomson Reuters, analysts were expecting a loss of 6 cents per share.

Sales, however, fell slightly short of analysts’ expectations with $1.88 billion in this quarter compared to $1.89 billion in the same quarter the prior year, according to Nasdaq. Analysts had forecast revenue of $1.91 billion.

The Nook portion of the business held revenues of $160 million for the quarter, a six percent spike over last year. Digital content sales also grew 38 percent over the prior year.

AT&T Ranked Last in Carrier Ratings

AT&T has ranked last for the third year running in Consumer Reports’ annual carrier ratings.

Verizon Wireless took the No. 1 spot, receiving comparatively strong scores on voice and data.

AT&T’s one good review was its 4G LTE network — it won out over its major competitor in this year’s study.

Sprint placed second and T-Mobile landed in the No. 3 slot.

None of the four main carriers were awarded an overall satisfaction score above 72 percent — a drop from their overall scores two years ago. In fact, Consumer Reports indicated cellphone carriers continue to be one of the lowest-rated service providers it evaluates.

Consumer Reports said smaller carriers such as Consumer Cellular, U.S. Cellular, and Credo Mobile were rated above the Big 4.

Cisco to Purchase Cariden for $141M

Cisco has announced its intent to purchase privately-held firm Cariden Tech. for about $141 million in cash.

Cariden will be incorporated into Cisco’s service provider networking group unit.

“The Cariden acquisition reinforces Cisco’s commitment to offering service providers the technologies they need to optimize and monetize their networks, and ultimately grow their businesses,” said Surya Panditi, senior vice-president and general manager, Cisco’s Service Provider Networking Group.

“Given the widespread convergence of IP and optical networks, Cariden’s technology will help carriers more efficiently manage bandwidth, network traffic and intelligence.  This acquisition signals the next phase in Cisco’s packet and optical convergence strategy and further strengthens our ability to lead this market transition in networking.”

The acquisition, which is subject to various standard closing conditions, is expected to be completed in the second quarter of Cisco’s fiscal year 2013.

The Cariden purchase will be the firm’s third major acquisition in November. The firm also purchased Cloupia for $125 million and Meraki for $1.2 billion.

LivingSocial to Layoff Staff

LivingSocial is preparing to cut about 10 percent of its workforce across the U.S.— about 400 jobs, according to news reports.

The cuts are expected to be across the board, including in LivingSocial’s home base of D.C., news reports indicated.

According to Mashable, LivingSocial was handed a $32.5-million tax credit from the D.C. Council in July for promising to keep its headquarters in the nation’s capital. The company had planned to expand its 1,000-employee base in D.C. and move into a 200,000-square-foot head office.

The layoffs likely mean that will not happen which could, in turn, mean the firm will no longer be eligible for the tax credit.