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Microsoft invests $1.1 billion in a new data center in Iowa

Iowa is quite the hot spot for data centers, with the state attracting Microsoft yet again to build its new data center in West Des Moines, a spot where the company already runs a data center.

 

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The investment is costing $1.1 billion, with the project being one of the largest in the history of the data center industry. The new facility will be spanned across 1.2 million square feet of space, on a massive 154-acre property. This data center has been a mystery for a while now, something that has been known as Project Alluvion.

 

On Friday, the Iowa Economic Development Authority Board approved a $20.3 million sales tax rebate to Microsoft on the project, something that will be made available until 2021. This is on top of the $18 million in incentives that the company has been promised by West Des Moines. Microsoft will be pumping around $8 million a year in property taxes back into the city, as well as creating 84 jobs when its fully built up. 66 of those jobs will have hourly wages of $24.32.

Mt. Gox supporters hope to revive the company, with creditor blessing

Supporters of Mt. Gox and the bitcoin currency hope to resurrect the defunct bitcoin exchange by wooing creditors to avoid liquidating current assets.

 

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Just days after Mt. Gox said it won't try to rebuild the company - and invites creditors to liquidate - Mt. Gox faces a rather uncertain future.

 

"We need your help to stop a liquidation, which would be good neither for Mt. Gox creditors nor bitcoin's reputation with the general public and regulators," according to supporters of the new movement.

Continue reading 'Mt. Gox supporters hope to revive the company, with creditor blessing' (full post)


Like a company on Facebook and forget about future legal action

Throughout the course of modern day history, companies have paid billions to lawyers to come up with elaborate plans to prevent consumers, workers, and other companies from having the right to file a lawsuit against them. Today we have learned that cereal maker, General Mills, has quietly slipped in a clause within its privacy policy that bars consumers from bringing forth litigation on the company if that individual uses a coupon offered by the company, enters a sweepstakes, or even "Likes" the company on social media.

 

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The new policy states: "Anyone who has received anything that could be construed as a benefit and who then has a dispute with the company over its products will have to use informal negotiation via email or go through arbitration to seek relief, according to the new terms posted on its site." This is also known as "forced arbitration."

 

General Mills is clearly trying to avoid costly lawsuits such as one last year over packaging of a product that resulted in $8.5 million in settlement fees. The new policy is forcing consumers to enter into arbitration which means that your lawyer and their lawyer will meet in a room somewhere, and hash out how much compensation, if any, will be given to you. With companies sneaking in clauses like this into their privacy policy and forcing US citizens to give up rights, it may be time to rethink who you give your money too.

HTC hires former Samsung marketing exec on three-month contract

It looks like HTC is desperate, with the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer hiring Paul Golden, who was previously in a marketing position at Samsung. With HTC continuing to experience all sorts of obstacles in front of it being successful, this is an important bit of news.

 

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Golden has been hired by HTC on a three-month contract, where we're sure he'll come in and talk to the company about how to better market its smartphone against the likes of Samsung and Apple. HTC's just-released One M8 has been met with positive reactions from both the press and consumers, but I don't think it has been a big enough success for HTC against Samsung - which is set to ship a massive 35 million Galaxy S5's in Q2 2014 alone.

BlackBerry buys stake in healthcare IT firm, NantHealth

This week, BlackBerry's CEO Jon Chen, announced that his company had purchased a minority stake in a privately held healthcare IT firm called NantHealth. Chen said that he sees healthcare as one of the business sectors that BlackBerry can do very well in due to its enterprise security concerns.

 

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The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but we do know that the investment was small enough to be considered a minority investment, and BlackBerry is not as wealthy as it once was. I do see this entry into such a niche market as a good move for BlackBerry, and if the company continues to make smart investments it could pull itself out of the big hole it currently resides in.

Continue reading 'BlackBerry buys stake in healthcare IT firm, NantHealth' (full post)

Trinity portable wind turbine charges your USB gadgets

Wind turbines are being used around the world in different sizes to generate electricity used to power homes and business. A new smaller scale wind turbine project has hit Kickstarter that is called the Trinity.

 

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Trinity is a small 12-inch cylinder when folded down to make it portable. It is designed to generate power that can be used to charge up any USB gadget that you might have. Trinity is able to produce 15W of power and has its own internal 15000-mAh battery.

Continue reading 'Trinity portable wind turbine charges your USB gadgets' (full post)

Mt. Gox tosses out idea of rebuilding, will try to liquidate assets

The shuttered Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange has asked a Japanese court to grant liquidation of the company's assets, and will no longer seek bankruptcy protection. Following the catastrophic loss of bitcoin currency, the site quickly shuttered - with customers essentially left out in the cold.

 

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The company doesn't seemingly have a realistic approach to rehabilitating the company - and Mt. Gox creditors and investors spread across the world - it would simply be too difficult to arrange necessary meetings. There was initially hope an outside investor would buy the exchange, promising creditors a cut of future profits, but they will now settle for a slice of the liquidation.

 

Mt. Gox founder Mark Karpeles didn't want to visit the United States to explain his defunct company's actions which led to millions of dollars of bitcoin cryptocurrency lost.

Samsung expects to ship 35 million Galaxy S5's in Q2 2014 alone

The Galaxy S5 is here, with millions already enjoying their new flagship smartphone from Samsung, but just how many Galaxy S5 handsets does Samsung expect to ship in the next couple of months? 35 million - that's how many.

 

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According to The Korea Times, Samsung shipped 1.3 times as many Galaxy S5 smartphones in the first 24 hours of sales than the South Korean giant did with the S4 launch. Both investors and analysts are impressed with how well the S5 is selling, removing the fears they once had about market saturation or a shift away from Samsung.

 

One Senior Fund Manager spoke with The Korea Times, saying: "Against earlier expectations, the S5 was well-received by consumers in the global market. We don't have any plans to advise our big clients to unload their Samsung stock". According to insiders at Samsung, the company is hoping to ship over 35 million Galaxy S5 units by the end of Q2 2014.

Continue reading 'Samsung expects to ship 35 million Galaxy S5's in Q2 2014 alone' (full post)

Google acquires drone company, Titan Aerospace

For weeks now it has appeared that Facebook would be swooping in and buying up drone manufacturer, Titan Aerospace, but today Google has apparently beaten Facebook to the punch and picked up the company itself. While no price has been mentioned on how much the deal cost Google, it does mark the third company of this type that the Mountain View-based company has added to its stables.

 

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"Titan Aerospace and Google share a profound optimism about the potential for technology to improve the world. It's still early days, but atmospheric satellites could help bring internet access to millions of people, and help solve other problems, including disaster relief and environmental damage like deforestation," said a Google spokesperson.

Continue reading 'Google acquires drone company, Titan Aerospace' (full post)

Samsung sees great launch day sales of its Galaxy S5 handset

Samsung has launched its new flagship smartphone around the world, with over 125 countries receiving the Galaxy S5. ZDNet Korea has reported that the launch day sales of the Galaxy S5 have been quite strong.

 

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Samsung has reportedly moved around 1.3 times as many Galaxy S5's on April 11 than it did with its Galaxy S4 last year. Some European countries are seeing over 100% more demand for the Galaxy S5 versus the S4 from last year. In the UK, there were some massive lines outside of the new Samsung Experience Stories, where launch day sales were double that of the S4.

 

There has been talk of the premium handset market being saturated, but it looks like Samsung has proven them wrong yet again with the launch of the Galaxy S5.

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