Morning Briefing: Nintendo and Zynga post losses, and more Google privacy fears

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Welcome to the Morning Briefing for 27th of April 2012, where we highlight the tech stories from across the web that broke while you were sleeping and what we are watching here at

Here’s what we are watching:

  • Nintendo has posted its first operating loss, with a deficit of JPY37.3 billion (though it’s slightly better than a forecast that was much worse). The figures are being blamed on strong rival competition – especially from Apple and Microsoft (since the Xbox 360 has become the most popular console now). N.B. I’ve also chosen an article by the NY Times as opposed to The Verge, because it avoids the bias of commenters from either side.
  • Super Smash Bros – the most popular game for the Nintendo Wii – is about to have another sequel that could introduce Wii U and 3DS connectivity. It’s in “early stages”, according to Masahiro Sakurai in an interview with IGN, but it will be the central pillar of the new experience – so I’m guessing rather than just using the Wii U controller, you can also use the 3DS as the controller (which could be far cheaper than buying the Wii U controller).
  • More financial news, Zynga has also posted a net loss of $85 million, despite revenues increasing. The loss was being attributed to a stock-based expense during this quarter – whatever that is.
  • Google Drive still has privacy concerns with privacy groups lambasting Google. It’s mainly because of the unified terms of service, which privacy groups called out Google not to do because they labelled it as worse than its previous multitude of policies for different services.
  • Google has also sold Sketchup – which it bought in 2006 to build models in Google Earth. Sketchup has been sold to Trimble Navigation, and they make mapping and marine navigation equipment. Exact terms of the deal have not been revealed.
  • WolframAlpha has a desktop application for Windows 7 via the Intel’s AppUp store. The app costs only $2.99, but you can do everything on the website now in the app. Though, it basically offers what you get for free on the app (not its premium service), plus – it needs to connect to the internet anyway to access its server, so why not just use the web browser? It’s odd, but the good news is that its Course Assistant apps – which are really good – are coming to the PC as well.