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Facebook may seem like it's a worldwide phenomenon, but there's actually a huge chunk of the world left out as the website is blocked from use by China. Facebook founder recently met with the head of China's largest search engine Baidu for a tour and lunch to discuss the current state of the internet in China.
According to Baidu spokesman Kaiser Kuo, that the meeting with Baidu chief executive Robin Li "makes sense -- he is interested in the Chinese Internet, he's made that very plain. Obviously this is one of the big dark spots for Facebook because it is blocked here in China." Zuckerberg played off the trip as a cultural experience: "I'm trying to understand the language, the culture, the mindset -- it's just such an important part of the world." Obviously, since it's one of the few parts of the world not addicted to FarmVille.
I think I can speak for everyone when I say restocking fees suck. We all know it doesn't really cost companies 10% or more of what the purchase price of a gadget is to restock them. Those fees are just a way for the company to help talk us into keeping the gadgets we really don't like and would return if we didn't have to pay a fee. Best Buy has announced it has finally stopped being such a douche and eliminated restocking fees.
The fees were killed off on December 18 and the store will even refund you that restocking fee if you made a return in the 30 days or so prior to the 18th and were charged 10% or 15%. The old restocking fees were 10% of the price on an iPhone and 15% on other electronic devices like notebooks, TVs, GPS devices and more. Those high fees could add up to some really big losses for the consumer.
Julian Assange, head of WikiLeaks is set to be freed on bail today. The bail has been set at £220,000 before he can even step foot into the normal, free world.
Once Assange is out on bail he will be staying at a 600-acre country estate owned by support Vaughn Smith, a former Arm captain who founded and runs The Frontline Club for journalists - Assange himself has made regular personal appearances there and where he stayed prior to the cause being brought.
Twitter has received $200 million more in funding from bid winner Kleiner Perkins who beat out DST - this was from a valuation of $3.7 billion.
Not only does Twitter have more coin, they've also added two new members to their board, Flipboard's Mike McCue and DoubleClick's David Rosenblatt. The latest addition in funds increases their total funding to around $360 million.
The rumblings have been going around for a couple months now, and now it looks like the Yahoo! Downsizing is official. The big time web company is laying off around 4% of their workforce, making the fourth time in three years that Yahoo! Has downsized their staff.
Around 600 people lost their jobs, but reports are showing that the severance packages were fairly lucrative. Reports of six week vacations and job placement have been reported, but that can't soften the blow of losing your job during the holidays much. Yahoo! has been losing their battle for search supremacy to Google and even Facebook.
Intel's new plant codenamed D1X in Hillsboro, Oregon has been confirmed by Intel will be ready to produce 450 millimeter wafers.
Intel is supposedly sticking with 300mm wafers for a while but will have all the necessary preparations to start 450mm production once the industry is ready for it. The 450mm shift promises to be more efficient and cut costs by allowing more chips to produced at once but it will most likely be a few years before the benefits of this are shown.
The Giving Pledge founded by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett is a great charity. Billionaires worldwide donate to it and their billions that would normally sit in their accounts looking all pretty with all of those 000's instead helps the needy.
Mark Zuckerberg together with Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz are pledging half of their fortunes to The Giving Pledge. Zuckerberg previously announced on The Oprah Winfrey Show that he is giving $100 million to schools in New Jersey.
NVIDIA has lost their Quadro and Tesla manager to AMD. The story of Rob MacDonald begins with how he began with taking over NVIDIA's UK graphics sales operation in 2002 and shortly after was given control of graphic card sales into the Nordic region (Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway).
Rob was then promoted into Quadro sales and he has been expanding in that role ever since. Why is this news significant you ask? Professional products are the cash cow of the graphics industry...
Kogan Technologies Blog has an interesting piece on the current GST-free retail world that Myer and now Harvey Norman are wishing for. Gerry Harvey has announced he wants to follow in Myer's footsteps by offering a China-based website to sell direct to Australian Shoppers, GST free.
The blog pulls up some interesting points, but personally I do not see the point - Harvey Norman and Myer need to realise, like any retailer (with myself working in the IT retail sector as well as the super-hero posting TweakTown magician) that retail cannot continuously go up and up and up. It will fall eventually.
Well isn't that interesting! In October last year Seagate rejected a takeover bid from Western Digital. According to "two people with knowledge of the matter" Western Digital was willing to offer between 10 and 15 percent more than a competing takeover from TPG Capital which had already flashed $7.5 billion dollars under Seagate's nose.
However the sheer size of the proposal supposedly led to the refusal, not only would it have created a mammoth company, it would have also lead to huge product overlaps (internal, external HDD's, etc) and would've led to many managerial departures - on top of all of this, significant antitrust obsticles.