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Tech giant Google plans to open a new San Francisco office in the Mission District, with the 35,000-square-foot building aimed towards engineers tired of making the tiresome commute to and from the company's headquarters in Mountain View.
The location will be ideal to host 200 engineers, plus support recently acquired startups Google wants to find temporary homes for, including SlickLogin, Nest Labs, and Boston Dynamics. Google's main campus is in Mountain View, along with several office buildings in Silicon Valley, and is expanding its presence in San Francisco - where the company already has a building in the South of Market (SoMa) neighborhood, with plans to open another location in South Park.
Google and other Silicon Valley companies have been highly criticized over charter buses that pick up employees in San Francisco - and other Bay Area locations - then shuttle employees over to the South Bay. In addition, adding offices throughout the Bay Area can better entice top-level tech talent to join Google instead of other companies based in Silicon Valley, with Mountain View, Palo Alto, Cupertino, and other South Bay regions taking 60-90+ minutes to commute to each day.
There are two basic ways that you can get your hands on bitcoins. You can buy them with real-world money and hope that the value goes up in the future and you can make a profit. The other way is to get your hands on some PC hardware that will allow you to mine your own bitcoins. The mining process is resource intensive and isn't fast, but you can make money if you are successful.
Back in December, we talked a bit about the BIOSTAR mainboards that the company was positioning for bitcoin mining. Another new bit of bitcoin mining hardware has now turned up from a company called CoinTerra.
CoinTerra has unveiled its "affordable" bitcoin mining card called the GSX I. I say "affordable" because the GSX I sells for $1599, which is hardly affordable in my book. Compared to other mining options that can cost many times that $1599, it is affordable though.
Bitcoin is booming right now with the virtual currency worth a significant amount of real-world money. The success of bitcoin is a bit cloudy though with some countries deeming the virtual currency illegal, such as Russia. There have also been some issues with popular bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox stopping withdrawals in some instances.
Mt. Gox has promised that withdrawals are coming back soon. While bitcoin is having some issues, the world keeps moving forwards. The US is set to get its first bitcoin ATMs soon. A company called Robocoin announced this week that it would be putting bitcoin ATMs in place in Austin, Texas, and Seattle, Washington.
The company says that the bitcoin ATMs will require the user to scan an official ID like a passport or driver's license before a transaction can be made. The ATMs will allow users to swap bitcoin for cash, deposit cash, and purchase bitcoins.
Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has just announced that it has developed a workaround for the software bug that forced it to suspend all Bitcoin withdrawal transactions last week. The fix was developed in partnership with Blockchain.info, and Mt. Gox said that it has been implemented into its system and will prevent any fraudulent use of the malleability issue that shut down the system.
Mt. Gox says that along with the implementation of the malleability fix, withdrawals will resume "soon," and that the new system will be rolled out at a moderate pace. The new system also features new daily and monthly withdrawal limits that are designed to limit adverse effects on the exchange system based on current market conditions. Mt. Gox said that it is currently re-indexing the entire Blockchain of about 32 million entries, deploying the new NTX ID system, and implementing a new Bitcoin withdrawal queue that will undergo further testing before withdrawals are reinstated.
We should know more by this Thursday when Mt. Gox is expected to make another announcement on its plans to bring withdrawal transactions back online. At the moment the lack of withdrawals is seriously hurting Bitcoin prices on Mt. Gox, with a single Bitcoin now trading at about $320. That means that Bitcoins have fallen more than $300 since withdrawals were suspended. Until things return to normal, I fully expect to see Bitcoin's fall further on the third largest Bitcoin exchange.
Reports are floating around that Apple mergers and acquisitions chief Adrian Perica has met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk. The thought of Apple's mergers and acquisitions head meeting with Musk seems to indicate that Apple might be considering stepping into the automotive market in a much bigger way than it has with Siri Eyes Free.
The meeting happened last spring according to a source claiming to be familiar with the meeting. It would be strange for Apple to actually step into the car market. Tesla and Apple are both known as innovative companies. Apple has some of the most successful tech products on the market like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod.
Tesla on the other hand has one of the best electric vehicles on the market with the Model S. Neither Tesla nor Apple has offered any official comments on the rumored meeting, which certainly is no surprise. It's unclear what Tesla might gain from Apple other than deep pockets. Apple would presumably gain another platform for its technology in the form of its own car.
It was reported earlier that Nokia was in serious trouble with the Indian government over a tax evasion dispute of a jaw-dropping amount of $542 Million. As a result, the authorities raided the company's factories and offices in India. The matter is still pending in the court, but the situation escalated to a point where the company later threatened to pull its entire manufacturing business from India. In September 2013, Microsoft made a deal with Nokia to acquire the company.
Because of the tax evasion dispute that involves its factories in India, the company's planned sale to Microsoft would become complicated, according to WSJ. The report explained that that this complication involves a factory in Chennai which makes millions of mobiles per year and the deadline to complete this transaction should be completed by the end of Q1 2014. If the factory is not included during the transition, it may continue its operations as a "contract manufacturer" for Microsoft until the disputes are cleared. This step however would make it more complicated for Nokia.
When Lenovo purchased Motorola from Google in a deal worth $2.91 billion, it had the industry talking. But, those talks didn't seem to extend into LG boardrooms, with the South Korean giant not phased by the deal.
Head of Product with LG, Kim Jong Hoon, said: "There are many talks over Lenovo and Motorola in the media right now and how it affects LG, but internally, we aren't discussing much about it". One would think that LG would be scared of the deal, as it will make Lenovo quite the player in the market, but LG has plans of its own for 2014.
LG plans to get back its third place in the global smartphone market before the year is wrapped up, moving itself from position #4. LG has just launched the G Pro 2 smartphone which will help it get there, and we're sure it is working with Google on the Nexus 6 - which should be based off of the bigger G Pro 2 and its very delicious internal specs.
Back in August last year, we reported that Microsoft hired ex-Valve employee Jason Holtman as the head of its PC division - a position that Holtman has just left, six months into it.
The Verge talked with a Microsoft spokesperson who confirmed the news, adding that the software giant wishes him the best in the future. According to Holtman's LinkedIn profile, he left last month, but the news has only just reached the Internet. Holtman has confirmed the news through his Facebook page, where he said: "Last week I left Microsoft and said goodbye to my friends there. Now looking around for something interesting and fun-no end of that in video games!"
Who will become Dropbox's first Chief Operations Officer? If a report from the Wall Street Journal is correct, it could be Motorola CEO, Dennis Woodside.
Woodside will reportedly leave his post as CEO at Motorola for the COO position of the cloud storage giant. Things aren't set in stone right now, but it would definitely be an interesting move for Woodside.
A few days after we posted this, a Dropbox representative reached out to us, where Drew Houston, CEO of the cloud storage company, said: "We've long admired Dennis's leadership at Google and Motorola where he ran multi-billion dollar businesses and built amazing organizations around the world. We're so happy to welcome Dennis to our team -- I can't imagine a better person to help us bring Dropbox to global scale".
When Lenovo purchased Motorola Mobility from Google, it cost them $2.91 billion in stock and cash, but then Motorola posted a $384 billion operating loss for Q4 2013 - not good.
Well, Lenovo CEO, Yang Yuanqing, has said that he can quickly turn Motorola around within months - not years, like most have expected. He told Bloomberg: "In a few quarters we can turn around the business". He continued: "I am confident that from day 1 after closing, these businesses will quickly begin contributing to our performance and develop into pillars for long-term, sustainable growth".
They're definitely fighting words, but how will Lenovo pull it off? Well, the above plan should work - it shows why Lenovo acquired Motorola, and how it will realize growth from the deal, too. Lenovo plans to relaunch the Motorola brand in China, as well as emerging markets, where it will add entry-level handsets from Motorola to its growing list of options.