Business, Politics & Money
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Sony developing smart contact lenses with life recording

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Business, Politics & Money | Posted: May 4, 2016 11:49 pm

While Google Glass looks to have stalled, Sony looks to be moving forward with wearable eye-tech by registering a patent for some very interesting contact lenses.

 

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According to Futurism, Sony's patent includes the "ability to record and playback images, store them internally, and even autofocus." It's not currently known how far the company has gone into creating real-world applications for such tech (I'd bet not much), but the patent refers to some cutting edge technology such as piezoelectric sensors and tiny electromagnetic induction so I wouldn't expect to see these available to purchase for quite a few years to come. But with tech like this, maybe the future won't be so bad after all.

Vivendi buys more Ubisoft shares, takeover rumors begin

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Politics & Money | Posted: Apr 30, 2016 10:24 am

Vivendi has just purchased a larger stake in Ubisoft, where until now they had a 10% stake in Ubisoft, but have recently purchased more - now holding 17.73% of Ubisoft's capital, and 15.66% of voting shares.

 

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The company filed documents this week which were reported on by Reuters, with the company saying that it had "no plans" to try and push for an Ubisoft takeover, nor would it make an offer for Ubisoft's outstanding shares. Rewinding back to 2015, Vivendi increased its hold on Ubisoft from 6.6% to 10%, which Ubisoft said was "unsolicited and unwelcome".

 

Ubisoft has since met with investors and the Canadian government to "fight to preserve our independence". Vivendi used to own Activision Blizzard, but sold its majority stake in 2012, and then fully in 2013. It still owns around 12% of the company in 2013, and now it has less than 6%.

Netflix to increase its standard option pricing to $9.99 per month

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Politics & Money | Posted: Apr 9, 2016 2:43 am

There are a lot of people who are still paying $7.99 per month for the standard Netflix offering, but the company will be charging $9.99 per month starting next week.

 

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For $9.99 you'll receive concurrent streaming options as well as HD playback. If you don't care about multiple people using your Netflix connection, you can opt out of the upgrade, and continue forging on with the $7.99 per month plan.

 

Users that will be hit with the change will be emailed soon, allowing them time to opt out of the change - or allow it to happen. Will you be changing? Or are you happy with the $7.99 pricing?

Free in-flight wi-fi offered on future Qantas flights

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Business, Politics & Money | Posted: Feb 23, 2016 2:49 am

Despite being invented in Australia, it's somewhat ironic that Australia has been incredibly slow to embrace in-flight wi-fi, with travellers expected to pick up a good book. But the national airline Qantas has today announced that the last bastion of internet free environments is coming to an end.

 

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According to News.com.au, Qantas has today announced plans to add in-flight wi-fi to the airlines fleet of A330s and B737s early next year. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said that "bringing high-speed wi-fi to the domestic aviation market has been an ambition of ours for a long time and we now have access to the right technology to make it happen" and will "give Qantas customers download speeds in the air similar to what they're used to on the ground".

 

The wi-fi plan will be rolled out via a partnership with ViaSat, which will utilise National Broadband Network fibre backhaul.

Australia's biggest mobile telco Telstra hit by nation-wide outages

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Business, Politics & Money | Posted: Feb 9, 2016 3:19 am

Maybe it's a first world problem, but when you pay through the neck for mobile internet and calls here in Australia - you expect a level of service. Today, the country's biggest network Telstra, which services 16 million customers has dropped the ball in a pretty big way by announcing huge network outages.

 

 

According to News.com.au, huge swathes of Telstra's network in capital cities such as Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane went down just after midday, with many customers reporting they're still unable to make phone calls over two hours later.

 

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The company has not issued an ETA on a network fix (which the company call an 'interruption'), but stay tuned to their site here.

Amazon to massively expand U.S. bricks and mortar stores

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Business, Politics & Money | Posted: Feb 3, 2016 6:22 am

It's only been a few months since Amazon launched its first physical store in the United States, but according to retail sources, they're set to massively expand their presence in the coming months and years.

 

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The Wall Street Journal has reported that General Growth Properties, Inc. CEO Sandeep Mathrani, whose company owns 120 regional shopping malls in forty states, has told investors that Amazon's "goal is to open, as I understand, 300 to 400 bookstores."

 

The house that Bezos built has yet to comment on the reports, but the billionarie founder had previously promised that "we hope this is not our only [storefront]. But we'll see". Looks like we will indeed.

'The Big Short' headed for a big Oscar win, bookies suggest

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Business, Politics & Money | Posted: Jan 28, 2016 11:29 pm

With the nominees in and the 2016 Academy Awards ceremony just a few weeks away, speculation about who'll be adding some gold statues to their collections is reaching fever pitch. According to bookies, it might just be 'The Big Short' who'll snag the Best Picture award from the grasp of early Oscar-bait favourite 'The Revenant'.

 

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While director Adam McKay is better known for comedies such as 'Anchorman' and 'Step Brothers', it's his dramatic turn with 2015's 'The Big Short' which has turned heads, based on the United States sub-prime loan disaster which has generated praise and plaudits from across the globe. Official odds from online sportsbook TopBet has the finance drama as the clear favourite to take out the Best Picture Oscar, with investigative drama 'Spotlight' running at second.

 

Meanwhile, odds have also shortened in Leonardo DiCaprio's favour to finally take home a Best Actor gong, his first in a 20 year career and just weeks after snagging the Golden Globe for his role in 'The Revenant'. That film's director Alejandro G Iñárritu is also the favourite for Best Director, with McKay nipping at his heels.

Great Scott! DeLorean cars go back into production after 30 years

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Business, Politics & Money | Posted: Jan 28, 2016 2:22 am

Despite the DeLorean Motor Vehicle company going bankrupt in 1982 after producing only 9,000 of the distinctive gull-winged vehicles made famous by 'Back to the Future', the dream of founderJohn DeLorean's is about to live on, with new vehicles headed to production for the first time in over 30 years.

 

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According to NBC News, the reconstituted DeLorean Motors factory in Humble, Texas which has been refurbishing vehicles and producing parts for the roughly 6,500 vehicles in existence today, has been given the greenlight by the U.S. Government to produce around 300 new vehicles from original parts that have been in storage since the company folded. "It's fantastic! It is a game changer for us. We've been wanting this to happen" remarked Stephen Wynne, DeLorean's CEO.

 

The newly produced vehicles are expected to be a money spinner for the company, with estimates that they'll sell for upwards of $100,000 USD.

North Korea's latest invention: Hangover free alcohol

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Business, Politics & Money | Posted: Jan 21, 2016 12:16 am

North Korea - there's not much you can't do. From sending a man to the sun, to creating a miracle one-drug cure for AIDS, Ebola and SARS, not to mention eliminating the need to defacate, North Korea have now made another stunning breakthrough. They've abolished hangovers.

 

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According to the state-run Pyongyang Times, the country's Taedonggang Foodstuff Factory has created 'Koryo Liquor', which according to writer Jong Hwa Sun is "made of six-year-old Kaesong Koryo insam, known as being highest in medicinal effect, and the scorched rice, is highly appreciated by experts and lovers as it is suave and causes no hangover".

 

While the drink has been "registered as a national scientific and technological hit" and "awarded the December 15 Medal of Quality which is given to the best products in the country", there's unfortunately no word yet on international availability. To be honest, I wouldn't be holding your breath. But here's to North Korea, for once again punching above their weight.

U.S. calls BS on North Korea H-Bomb claim

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Business, Politics & Money | Posted: Jan 7, 2016 4:25 am

Yesterday's claim by North Korean state-owned television that "the republic's first hydrogen bomb test has been successfully performed" has been denied by the White House, confirming that initial data from monitoring stations in the Asia area were inconsistent with that of hydrogen bomb blast.

 

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While many neighbouring Asian-Pacific nations such as Japan and Australia alongside the United Nations have been quick to condemn the countries weapons program, the New York Times is reporting that neither Korea nor the United States believe that the blast that triggered a 5.1 earthquake in the region was due to an H-bomb, citing "a variety of evidence - some technical, some from human sources" to disbelieve their claim. According to an unnamed South Korean Defense Ministry official, the blast might not have been due to a lesser explosive boosted traditional fission bomb, saying "even a boosted fission bomb produces a yield bigger than this, so we don't think this is a successful test of a boosted fission bomb".

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