HTC takes a beating, Q1 profits down 70 percent, revenue drops 35 percent

It was only a few years back that Taiwanese phone maker HTC was the unstoppable rising star of the smartphone manufacturing business, but things can change very quickly. The company released its audited first quarter results this morning, and they were not pretty: revenue declined 35 percent to $2.3 billion and profit fell 70 percent from $501 million to $149 million.

Kony 2012: Part II debuts in a defense against internet critics

The Kony 2012 video, a slick production whose aim is to use the internet to stop an African military leader with a host of human rights violations, took off like wildfire on social media after it debuted on March 5. The video generated more than 100 million views on YouTube and Vimeo, and it started a huge social media campaign to put an end to the reign of leader Joseph Kony, head of the Lord’s Resistance Army that operates in four African nations.

JOBS Act becomes law, but questions linger about potential for fraud

President Obama signed the Crowdfunding Bill, aka the JOBS Act, into law today. It will change the way startups do business in a lot of ways, most notably by making it easier for them to accept smaller investments from a larger number of investors. Chance Barnett, chief executive officer of crowdfunding service provider Crowdfunder, sent us the nifty infographic below helping to explain.

Forget Hollywood — U.S. startups are in dire need of copyright protection

The recent debate over SOPA, PIPA, and OPEN has left a bitter taste among those who think the tech industry is in desperate need of intellectual property reform. Add to it the recent shutdown of Megaupload and big-time patent disputes, and it’s easy to see how IP enforcement has become a weapon that threatens technological innovation in a way like never before. Despite the mess, a recent trend has left many startups crying out for greater copyright/IP protection: the rise of copycat kings like Rocket Internet in Germany, Fast Lane Ventures in Russia, and others in China, who are quick to “clone” successful U.S. businesses like Pinterest, Fab.com, Airbnb, Groupon, and Zappos in overseas markets. And I’m not just talking about taking an idea and tweaking it; this is about copying a site’s entire design, layout, and logo almost pixel for pixel and coming up with some uninspired derivative name (e.g., “Pinspire” instead of Pinterest, “Zolando” instead of Zappos) that reeks of being a cheap knock-off.

How Walmart can save the BlackBerry

BlackBerry maker, Research In Motion, recently released disappointing Q4 2012 financial performance results. New CEO Thorstein Heins has acknowledged RIM is in need of significant changes if it is to survive, much less stay relevant. The odds are heavily stacked against RIM at this point, but there are still things the company can do to regain its footing in the market.

Who is to blame for the Groupon fiasco? Everyone

We’ve heard quite a few opinions about who’s to blame for Groupon’s IPO fiasco ever since the company announced a restatement of its earnings last Friday and indicated that it had material weakness in its internal controls. Andrew Ross Sorkin of The New York Times blames greedy tech companies. Sarah Lacy of Pando Daily blames greedy Wall Street bankers. They’re both right — and they’re both wrong. The blame for this fiasco can be spread far and wide.