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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 81

Samsung said to be ending desktop PC production, wants to focus on portable devices

Samsung is reportedly intensifying its focus on mobile devices by ending desktop PC production. According to the Korea Times, a Samsung executive was quoted as saying that desktops will not be produced any longer so that the company can focus on portable devices, something Samsung has been exceptionally strong at.

 

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"Tablets, all-in-one and hybrid PCs are Samsung's current focus. Samsung is speeding up its restructuring of its PC business via product realignment toward profitable variants," the executive is quoted as saying. This makes good sense as the desktop PC market continues to shrink quarter-over-quarter.

 

Samsung apparently believes there is still a market for the all-in-one desktop variety machine, though this could also be shrinking in the coming years as devices continue to get smaller, faster, and better. We'll keep our eye on Samsung's PC division and let you know of any changes to this course.

Apple signs deal with TSMC to build its A series chips for the next 3 years

Earlier this morning a report out of the Taiwanese supply chain indicates that Apple may have finally signed a deal with manufacturer TSMC to produce it's A-series chips for the next three years. TSMC is expected to begin building apples A8 processors along with future models during that timeframe.

 

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While rumors still circle between a Samsung and Apple breakup over chip manufacturing industry analysts state that Samsung will continue to manufacture Apple's next-generation A7 and A7X designs that are expected to appear in Apple's upcoming iPhone 5S as well as the fifth-generation iPad.

 

Other analysts are stating that over the next two years, TSMC will head up all of the A9 and A9x as well as A10 and A10X chip production through 2016. These reports appear to confirm reports that TSMC has been bolstering its foundries manufacturing assets over the last year in preparation for a big new client.

Continue reading 'Apple signs deal with TSMC to build its A series chips for the next 3 years' (full post)

Machinima is going after a 'mega-round' of financing, who is going to pull out their credit card?

For those not aware of who Machinima are, you might want to take a look - they feature more than two billion (that's with a B) YouTube views per month, and are one of the Internet's biggest entities on YouTube.

 

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This is obviously worth a lot of money, but just how much? Well, the people behind the company are looking for a "mega-round" of financing. In 2012, Machinima executives raised $35 million in a financing round led by Google, and this time, they are looking for more than that, much more in fact. The money they hope to raise will help the company setup more advanced content ambitions.

 

At the moment, Machinima rely on clips contributed by YouTubers, but they want to spend more money licensing original shows like the big boys do. Also, instead of just running their new shows on YouTube for free, Machinima want to work out a way where they can create a subscription-based model like Netflix, or Hulu.

Continue reading 'Machinima is going after a 'mega-round' of financing, who is going to pull out their credit card?' (full post)

Apple's $100 million in-app purchase settlement goes live, parents of kids who created huge bills to be compensated

If you are one of the parents of kids who created huge bills from in-app purchases within iTunes apps, you can now seek compensation for your bills.

 

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Apple have sent out the "Apple In-App Purchase Litigation Administrator" through e-mail, which includes information on the settlement and deadlines for submitting payment requests. For those with charges under $30, you'll receive a whopping $5 in an iTunes gift card. Cash refunds will be handed out to those who had bills exceeding $30.

Microsoft are the ones behind the gigantic data center in Iowa, have spent $700 million so far

The $700 million "Project Mountain" data center project in Des Moines, Iowa, has an official owner: Microsoft. Late last week, the Iowa Economic Development Authority Board approved $20 million worth of tax credit incentives for the software giant.

 

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Microsoft plan to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on the new gigantic data center. State documents lead most to believe that Microsoft's investment will be $677.6 million, and it will be used to expand their existing data center in the region. According to Christian Belady, Microsoft's GM of Data Center Services: "Supporting the growing demand for Microsoft's cloud services."

Intel joins the Alliance for Wireless Power

Intel have just become the latest member to join the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP). A4WP has more than 40 other companies in its embrace, including Samsung, Qualcomm and Broadcom - just to name a few.

 

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Intel's Navin Shenoy has faith in the future of A4WP's standard, where he says: "Intel believes the A4WP specification, particularly the use of near-field magnetic resonance technology, can provide a compelling consumer experience and enable new usage models that make device charging almost automatic. In joining A4WP, we look forward to working alongside other member companies and contributing to standards that help fuel an ecosystem of innovative solutions capable of simultaneously charging a range of devices, from low-power accessories to smartphones, tablets and Ultrabooks."

 

Intel is looking into the future with this partnership, hoping that Ultrabook owners will use the batteries in their Ultrabook to power other devices like smartphones, tablets and more. Wireless charging could be the future of technology, but right now we require the entire industry to settle on a standard, and Intel stepping into the ranks of the A4WP is one of those big steps.

HTC carves down executive pay after continued damages to their finances

HTC have been hurting for quite sometime now, with Apple and Samsung sucking up those precious consumers and even more precious profits. It looks like the Taiwanese company is cutting up executive pay, according to the Wall Street Journal.

 

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Compensation reached $22 million last year, with this figure including salaries, retirement pay, bonuses and profit sharing. These numbers are down 51.3% compared to the $45 million paid in the previous year. HTC chief executive Peter Chou and engineering and operations president, Fred Liu, saw their pay packages drop to $3.3 million last year - the first time in two years - with other executives seeing similar reductions.

 

We could see things turn around with Robert Downey Jr stepping up as the face of HTC, where the company will hand Iron Man himself $12 million to promote HTC around the world. Both HTC and Downey haven't confirmed the deal, but I'm sure we'll hear about it in the days and weeks to come, if it turns out to be true.

If Apple doesn't turn things around, CEO Tim Cook could lose hundreds of millions of dollars in shares

Apple has had a shocking past twelve months or so, where we've seen them fall from grace, and fast. I called it out, and was one of the first to see they were about to stumble, and now everyone else seems to have jumped on the TT bandwagon, which is nice.

 

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Now it seems that Tim Cook is about to feel all of that pain, with Apple's board changing the way the CEO's pay packet is handled. Here's what will happen: If Apple's stock outperforms the market over the next eight years, Cook will keep the one million Apple shares he has now - which he was set to receive no matter what happened to Apple stock. But, if Apple's stock continues to dwindle, which I think it will, Cook could lose up to 40% of his shares.

 

When Apple first gave Cook his original package, those one million shares were worth $376 million. At the peak of Apple's shares at the end of last year, those shares were worth a cool $705 million, and today? Just $413 million. Apple filed a document with the SEC, which says Cook "has the full support of the Board of Directors", noting that the way they give out bonuses is being changed to all of Apple's top execs.

Continue reading 'If Apple doesn't turn things around, CEO Tim Cook could lose hundreds of millions of dollars in shares' (full post)

Square Enix announces new heads of North American and European studios

Square Enix have announced some changes in terms of management at two of their studios - the North American and European studios have had some changes made. The announcements have come after Square Enix spent their fiscal year in the red, seeing layoffs in both the NA and EU which was part of "corporate restructuring".

 

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Darrell Gallagher will now have the responsibilities of all studios under the North American and European studios umbrella, where he will become Square Enix's new Head of Studios. Before he stepped into these shoes, Gallagher was the Studio Head of Crystal Dynamics, a position he'll continue to do for the time being, while suiting up for his new position.

 

Eidos Montreal will be head by former Deus Ex: Human Revolutions executive producer, David Anfossi. While these changes take place, Square Enix Montreal will be "built into a centre of excellence for game development on smart devices (primarily tablets)" with the help of Patrick Naud.

NSA whistleblower leaks information out about British equivalent of NSA, takes data directly from fiber optic cables

We all know the United States government and their various agencies such as the NSA, FBI and CIA have counterparts across the world - but NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has leaked more documents to The Guardian, which suggest British counterparts also intercept data.

 

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The British operation is codenamed "Tempora" by Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and has been in operation for at least 18 months. This operation involves the use of "intercept probes" which are directly attached to transatlantic fiber-optic cables going onto British shores from telephone exchanges and Internet servers in the US. "Intercept partners", or commercial companies as the documents describe them, were secretly used to attach the intercepts on behalf of the GCHQ.

 

The companies weren't revealed in the documents, but were forced by law to help the GCHQ, and were even paid in some cases. This has allowed the GCHQ to take in countless amounts of data from citizens - with everything from phone calls, to e-mails and Facebook data. The Guardian notes: "For the 2 billion users of the world wide web, Tempora represents a window on to their everyday lives, sucking up every form of communication from the fiber-optic cables that ring the world."

Continue reading 'NSA whistleblower leaks information out about British equivalent of NSA, takes data directly from fiber optic cables' (full post)

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