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Tesla, BMW reportedly in partnership discussion for battery tech

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said his company is chatting with German automaker BMW, with the two companies discussing a potential partnership to develop batteries and lightweight components. The two companies met earlier in the year to discuss charging stations that can support electric vehicles, and as electric vehicle development increases, sharing research would be able to benefit both sides.

 

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"We [Tesla and BMW] are talking about whether we can collaborate in battery technology or charging stations," Musk said in the Der Spiegel magazine.

 

Tesla isn't against working with other automakers, as the US company has partnered with Toyota to research electric SUVs, and currently collaborates with Mercedes-Benz.

Continue reading 'Tesla, BMW reportedly in partnership discussion for battery tech' (full post)

Redbox raising DVD, Blu-ray, video game rental prices by 25% soon

Rental kiosk service Redbox will increase daily rental fees on December 2, and parent company Outerwall expects to see an "adverse impact" on rental volumes. Daily DVD rentals will increase from $1.50 up to $2 per night and Blu-ray movies will rise from $1.50 to $2 per night. A video game increase from $2 up to $3 per night will go into effect on Jan. 6, 2015.

 

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"I would expect consumers that continue to use Redbox to adjust their usage patterns with reduced basket sizes and/or holding periods along with being more aggressive with promotional-offer usage," said Eric Wold, B. Riley & Co. analyst, in a research note.

 

I don't mind paying extra for movie rentals, but hope to see extra kiosks - and less issue with downed kiosks - if everyone is going to have to pay more. Redbox offers enough free rental codes, or rent one, get one free rentals - but this could reduce the number of rentals a person may get month-to-month.

FCC commissioner slammed on Reddit over net neutrality rulemaking

Popular image board Reddit has made their "Ask Me Anything" platform an extremely popular way for celebrities, politicians and persons of interest to talk to members of the public through an 'ask and tell' type scenario. However, there are times when this simple instance of self-promotion can go extremely wrong, or very right. The last time we saw such a blowout in /r/IAmA was that of Woody Harrelson's PR agent pretending to be him, which was a massive contrast to hilarious offerings like lil Jon's "sleep or police".

 

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As described in a wrap-up Reddit post by Reddit user Fluffy017, "it goes about as well as you'd expect". The general population of Reddit can be seen as 'internet activists', with many instances being reported of them achieving things such as financing Kickstarter campaigns all the way to getting a NASCAR car sponsored by their popular 'Doge' meme.

 

Net Neutrality is a hot topic among this online board and defined as defined as "the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication." Basically meaning, certain companies could receive an unfavorable advantage simply due to their positioning. market share or who's income they decide to supplement.

Continue reading 'FCC commissioner slammed on Reddit over net neutrality rulemaking' (full post)

Samsung wants the US government to block GeForce GPU shipments

The legal battle between NVIDIA and Samsung is really heating up now, with Samsung firing back at NVIDIA with a lawsuit, complaining to the US International Trade Commission to block sales of NVIDIA's GeForce and Tegra products.

 

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We don't know which parts Samsung took under consideration, but the dispute does name many third-party device makers that sell GeForce-powered goods. Video card designers would be hit first, with companies like EVGA now in hot water. Tegra-based devices would be affected too, which isn't as big as the GPU side of things, but it's still going to affect NVIDIA if it happens.

 

Bloomberg spoke with NVIDIA, which said that it hadn't looked at the complaint just yet, but the company "look[s] forward" to going to the ITC with its own dispute.

Activision announces Call of Duty franchise has generated $10 billion

Activision has announced that Call of Duty has generated over $10 billion in sales worldwide, with the company saying that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is the "biggest entertainment launch of the year".

 

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It had been previously reported by analysts that the Call of Duty franchise was in decline, but Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg has said that "Preorders are a good barometer for day one, but I don't think they reflect the overall demand for the product". During the announcement earlier today, Hirshberg said: "Sales and engagement are up through the first week compared to last year. Season Pass sales are up, as well. The game has been very positively reviewed and the response from fans has been tremendous".

 

Activision also added that the new Call of Duty is the highest-selling digital launch in console history, too.

Apple requests Foxconn builds a new $2.6 billion factory

It looks like Apple has requested Foxconn, which is the largest device manufacturer in the world, to build a new $2.6 billion facility just for the production of displays for its various iDevices.

 

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Apple reportedly wants to have its hands-on an Innolux factory, the display portion of Foxconn, to only make displays for its iPhone, iPad and other popular-selling products. Innolux has been a company that Apple has reportedly been tapping to make the 4.7-inch displays for the iPhone 6. Sophia Cheng, a Public Relations representative for Foxconn's Display Unit, Innolux Corp., said: "Equipment installation will commence next month with mass production of panels to start by the end of 2015 after an urgent request for exclusive capacity".

 

Cheng wasn't aware if the deal had been signed or not, and Apple is keeping its mouth firmly shut about the deal. Considering Foxconn already has a couple of Apple-dedicated facilities in China, this would still be a first for the company; to have a factory making components exclusively for products for a single company.

Intel will soon merge its mobile divisions with its CPU division

Intel may be struggling in the mobile market, but things could change with the news that the chipmaker will soon combine its mobile divisions with its CPU-making division.

 

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Bloomberg is reporting the news, after speaking with Intel's spokesman, Chuck Malloy, who said: "The lines are blurring between PCs, tablets, phablets and phones. The idea is to accelerate the implementation and create some efficiency so that we can move even faster". With Intel close to its goal of shipping 40 million tablet processors in 2014, the company still isn't hitting its stride when it comes to profitability in the mobile market, mainly because of its big subsidies to have them on-board in the first place.

Sony continues to restructure, wants to push forward in entertainment

Electronics company Sony is desperate to find ways to restructure and revamp its business offerings, as the company struggles to keep up with industry rivals. The company's PlayStation 4 continues to sell extremely well, but its high-definition TV (HDTV) sector and other units have greatly struggled. Meanwhile, Sony wants to prove it can turn its entertainment business around, so it is able to contribute to financial revenue.

 

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Sony Music and Sony Pictures total 18 percent of the company's overall sales, which is ahead of Sony's mobile business unit. However, the company still strives for $4.8 billion to $5.2 billion from the music division, at a time when the music industry is still trying to adapt to digital music.

 

"I understand that everyone expects me to show how Sony can be changed into a highly profitable company... and to unveil a roadmap toward growth for the overall company," said Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai.

US Marshals will auction off another lot of 50,000 bitcoins

The US Marshals plan to auction another lot of 50,000 bitcoins, worth around $19 million, which were seized when the federal government shuttered the original Silk Road. The second auction is scheduled to run for two weeks, and a winner will be announced on Dec. 5. The second auction takes place five months after a lot of 30,000 bitcoins were sold off by the US Marshals.

 

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The first auction was won by venture capitalist Tim Draper, and the value of bitcoins have dropped from $647 down to $384 - but should still draw fierce competition from bidders able to pay the required $100,000 deposit to the US Marshals.

Bitcoin provides a 'compelling investment thesis' for investors

The bitcoin cryptocurrency is becoming more appealing for businesses looking to accept additional payment methods from customers. However, widespread adoption by consumers and financial investors remains unknown, as bitcoins have a high volatility mixed with problematic acceptance of state and federal regulators.

 

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Even so, a growing number of bitcoin-focused startups and businesses indicate a growing legitimacy that cannot be simply overlooked. The current value of a single bitcoin is $391.74, a fraction of the all-time $1,130 value it reached in December 2013, but investors urge potential investors to not lose faith.

 

"In terms of purchasing bitcoin for investment, we need to remember that bitcoin is still early in its adoption cycle," said Trevor Murphy, CTO of the BitStash bitcoin storage solution company, in a statement to TweakTown. "So, a portion of the current price of bitcoin reflects the future value and potential of bitcoin, and as such that value can and will fluctuate with sentiment, regulatory changes, and investor demand."

 

The volatility of bitcoin might frighten some investors, but the growing addition of consumers and businesses willing to shop - and receive payment in bitcoins - will give investors a chance to invest in a potential Internet goldmine.

Continue reading 'Bitcoin provides a 'compelling investment thesis' for investors' (full post)

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