Apple plans Nevada solar farm in clean energy push for data centers

CUPERTINO, Calif., Tue Jul 2, 2013 — Apple Inc. said it plans to build a new solar farm with NV Energy Inc. for power supply to its new data center in Reno, Nevada, a major step towards its goal of having its data centers run on renewable energy.

Apple and other technology companies such as Inc. and Microsoft Corp, that build and run computer server farms have come under criticism for their high consumption of electricity and other resources.

These data centers cater to an explosion in Internet traffic, streaming content through mobile devices and hosting of services to corporations.

The new solar farm will provide power to Sierra Pacific Power Co.’s electric grid that serves Apple’s data center and when completed will generate about hours 43.5 million kilowatt of clean energy a year, Apple said in a statement.

Apple already runs its largest data center in the U.S. on solar power. The center in Maiden, North Carolina produces 167 million kilowatt hours, the power equivalent of 17,600 homes for one year, from a 100-acre solar farm and fuel cell installations provided by Silicon Valley startup Bloom Energy.

Zynga, seeking salvation, names Microsoft Xbox head as CEO

SAN FRANCISCO, Tue Jul 2, 2013 — Zynga Inc.’s decision to bring in the head of Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox business to replace founder Mark Pincus is a bold stroke that was hailed on Wall Street, but it still leaves questions as to who is ultimately in charge at the troubled game-maker.

Don Mattrick was personally recruited by Pincus. But Pincus holds on to 61 percent of the voting rights due to a two-tiered stock structure and will remain Zynga’s chairman and its chief product officer.

Mattrick, who is credited with building Microsoft’s Xbox business into a gaming powerhouse, hesitated before agreeing to take the job, people with knowledge of the events said.

His doubts finally faded during a grueling bike ride through the Santa Cruz mountains one recent weekend, when Pincus opened up to Mattrick about how he had come to terms emotionally with relinquishing the reins at the company he founded in 2007.

While Wall Street cheered Mattrick’s appointment, sending Zynga’s shares up more than 10 percent and another 3 percent after hours, some analysts questioned whether the shake-up would change Zynga’s performance in a significant way.

“Bringing in someone who has worked at a larger company to assist in management duties I think is a relief right now,” said Richard Greenfield, an analyst at BTIG Research.

“But Pincus is still the chief product officer. So the question is, what’s actually changed day to day in terms of making hit games?”

Mattrick will hold the final say in day-to-day matters, including green-lighting new games, people familiar with the situation said.

Zynga’s business model, which relied heavily on selling virtual goods to gamers on Facebook Inc.’s platform, began to disintegrate in mid-2012 as users tired of Facebook games and shifted to playing on mobile devices.

Hyundai recalls 5,200 Azera sedans in U.S. for airbag sensor issue

DETROIT, Tue Jul 2, 2013 — Hyundai Motor Co. is recalling about 5,200 Azera sedans in the United States to address an issue where the airbag may deploy with less or greater force than needed in an accident.

The South Korean automaker is recalling the 2012 and 2013 model-year cars because the occupant detection system may fail to properly differentiate whether the front-seat passenger occupant is an adult, child or a child restraint seat, according to documents filed with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The result could be the bags deploying with the incorrect force and that could lead to increased risk of injury.

Hyundai determined that a change in the fabric material on the sensor mat could impact the sensor’s ability to properly classify an occupant, NHTSA said.

A review of warranty claims found several instances indicating that the airbag warning light had illuminated with a diagnostic code for a wet seat, according to NHTSA.

Hyundai will notify owners and recalibrate the airbag system, NHTSA said. Hyundai expects to begin notifying owners in the third quarter.

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