Tuesday tapas: AMD still sinking, tech and driving, campaign donations by text

Assorted tech tidbits, sort of a tapas Tuesday.

• AMD shares continue to tank a day after the Sunnyvale chip maker revised its second-quarter earnings expectations downward — along with its stock. Advanced Micro Devices fell 6 percent Monday and is down more than 10 percent to $5 as of this post amid a mostly negative day for tech stocks. AMD says it saw weaker sales in China and Europe as well as overall weaker consumer demand, and an analyst said the company was outperformed by Intel and Nvidia, which have launched new chips. Both Silicon Valley chip makers are also seeing their shares down 1.5 percent or more as of this post.

AMD is scheduled to report earnings Thursday.

• We’ve talked on GMSV about distracted driving amid the tech revolution. (See Driven, walked, or cycled to distraction: on multitasking, gadgets and the law.) Now there’s news that engineers have developed a device that could jam your cell phone while you’re driving — but still allow your passengers to use the phone. According to Smithsonian.com, a team of engineers in India have a prototype that uses radio-frequency identification, or RFID, to detect when a car is in motion and figure out when the driver is trying to use a mobile phone. But also, the system has the ability to be linked to law enforcement, bringing up privacy issues.

• Last month, the Federal Election Commission approved a plan to allow campaign donations by text message, a move reportedly backed by the opposing U.S. presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, and applauded by public-interest groups that say small donors will get to participate in the process. But the wireless carriers, worried about possible legal liabilities and responsibilities, want to know more. While texting a political donation seems simple, but the carriers say they don’t want to have to vet a donor’s eligibility, according to Reuters. The carriers also are concerned about accepting donations from certain campaigns, and about contribution limits. Last year, California became the first state in the nation to allow text donations.



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