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Cryptocurrency bitcoin has had a bumpy road over the past few months, with major security issues while more consumers become familiar with the digital currency. Bitcoin should help disrupt global payment systems, driving efficiency of the current payment and commerce ecosystem, according to a blog published by Forrester Research.
The bitcoin currency remains a complex and risky investment proposition for consumers, though an increasing number of retailers now accept payment for the digital currency.
"Here's the bottom line: Bitcoin is deeply flawed as an alternative currency or payment method for mainstream consumers," Forrester said in a blog post. "It will, however, be a catalyst for a more efficient global payments system because it demonstrates one way to tackle the many embedded inefficiencies."
Ad Age has sources that have whispered to them that Instagram has reportedly inked an advertising deal with ad agency Omnicom to the tune of around $100 million.
Considering Instagram was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion, Facebook should soon be making the money it spent on Instagram back quickly. The deal will see Instagram users across the world see ads pushed to their Instagram feeds sometime in the near future.
Apple has reportedly ordered some 90 million iPhone 6 smartphones from Foxconn Electronics, with those 90 million handsets orders for just 2014 alone. It looks like Apple is quite confident its next smartphone will be a smash hit, ordering that massive quantity of devices.
Taiwan-based Commercial Times newspaper has said that its sources of Citigroup Global Markets analysts have said that Foxconn is expected to receive the massive orders from Apple for the new iPhones this year. The market observers believe that iPhone shipments should increase 23% in 2014, compared to the 13% growth seen last year.
90 million iPhoness sounds like a lot, but considering Apple sold around 85 million iPhones in the second half of last year, this shouldn't be that hard of a task for the company.
We have been following the Google Barge for a while now. The barge was first spied sitting at its dock at Treasure Island in San Francisco. Google was forced to move the barge not long ago because it didn't have the proper permits needed for construction.
We learned last week that the barge would be moving from San Francisco to Stockton, California. The trek took the barge about 80 miles. Google's barge is now docked at a pier on Rough and Ready island in Stockton, California. Sources say that Google is paying around $10,000 to $12,000 per month for its pier.
Google has reportedly agreed to pay the port docking fees for a minimum of three months. The lease could be shorter or longer depending on construction needs according to Stockton port director Richard Aschieris.
If you are ever in the mood for beer, whatever game happens to be on, and hot wings, Buffalo Wild Wings is a good place to find. You can even watch the UFC fights there on a fight weekend. If you have ever been in one of these places when it is busy, you know it can be hard to get your server to come to the table when you want them.
Buffalo Wild Wings has announced that it is now using tablets at all tables in 150 company owned stores around the US. The tablets will be rolling out to another 500 stores by the end of 2014 and then by next year all stores will have the tablets.
These tablets will serve many uses. Patrons to the eatery will be able to play games on the tablet including multi-player games. The tablets are called Beond and in addition to playing games, you will be able to make food and drink orders from the tablets.
Jack Tretton, the current President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) is stepping down from his position on April 1, 2014. Replacing him will be the current Sony Network Entertainment International (SNEI) VP and COO, Shawn Layden.
Tretton has been with the company for quite a long time - 19 years - and has said that it has been the most rewarding experience of his career. Tretton added that he'll miss the talented team he has been working with all this time, and the passion of Sony's fans. It's not all sad news, as he is excited about what comes next in his career.
Since SCEA's opening in 1995, Tretton has been with the company, serving as a founding member of the executive team. He was involved with every launch of the PlayStation platform in the US, a big task on its own. Sony said in a statement that it didn't renew its contract with Tretton as a mutual decision between the two. No exact reason was given for his departure from the position.
It should place at least a small cloud of doubt over Sony, as it is seeing great early success with its PlayStation 4.
This morning office supply retail giant, Staples, announced that it plans to close 225 of its retail locations by the end of 2015. Staples says that amidst poor fourth quarter results deriving from what it calls "soft" consumer demand for electronics, the company has no choice but to close up many of its stores to starve off mounting losses. Staples operates 1500 stores in the US, which equates to it closing nearly 1/4 of its in-store retail business.
"With nearly half our sales generated online today, we're meeting the changing needs of business customers and taking aggressive action to reduce costs and improve efficiency," Staples CEO Ron Sargent said. The closings are expected to save the company nearly $500 million by the end of 2015. Staples will focus more of its resources into generating online sales, but with the PC market dwindling and more consumers turning to Amazon, Newegg and Tigerdirect for their electronics these days, this could just be the beginning of more hard times for Staples.
Back in January, we mentioned that IBM had sold its low-end x86 server business to Lenovo. As part of the deal, Lenovo would get a facility in China where the servers were made and the staff working at that facility. It seems that the workers at the IBM International System Technology Company factory in Shenzhen aren't happy about the deal.
About 1000 workers at that factory have been on strike and the factory has stopped manufacturing for at least four days. One of the striking workers says that the strike will continue. The worker noted that so far the company had ignored the demands of the workers.
As you can guess, the strike has to do with money. The workers want better pay to move to Lenovo or they want better severance packages if they choose to leave the company. An IBM spokesperson says that the deals offered to these workers are on par with what they have now.
BlackBerry's CEO, John Chen, has been very honest about the problems his company faces coming back into a now very tightly controlled smartphone market. Chen talked about it previously, where he compared it to a sick patient in desperate need of emergency surgery.
During a recent interview with The Financial Times, Chen said that BlackBerry's odds of making a comeback sit at around 50%, with everything coming down to how well he, and his team execute it all. The CEO said that losing key corporate and government clients hurt the company, but he has always had a goal of keeping new customers by providing superior services and products that focus on "our heritage and roots - delivering enterprise-grade, end-to-end mobile solutions".
Chen's plan to turn things around involves multiple parts: selling low-end smartphones, where it will leverage its partnership with Foxconn, monetizing its BBM messaging platform, and becoming a much bigger player in the cross-platform corporate mobile device management market. Company finances are expected to be stabilized by 2015, with Chen hoping that the company is profitable after that.
Things are not looking up for Bitcoins much these days and the cryptocurrency was dealt yet another blow today when Flexcoin announced that it has ceased operations and closed its doors for ever. Flexcoin was the first Bitcoin "bank" that operated much in the same manner as traditional banks do. Flexcoin announced today that on Sunday, March 2nd hackers breached the company's security and managed to steal 896 Bitcoins, valued at more than $620,000 USD.
Not all accounts at Flexcoin were compromised though, and it appears that only the hot wallet was breached, leaving thousands of bitcoins in cold storage untouched and safe due to them not being connected to the network. Customer's who chose to store their coins in cold storage payed an additional 0.5-percent for the added security and it looks like it paid off.
Bitcoin's disappearing or being stolen is quickly becoming the norm these days. Another firm named Polonix has also announced that 12.5-percent of its stored bitcoins were stolen by hackers, but said that it would be replacing the coins with those from its own reserve. With major failures of big names in Bitcoin, can the cryptocurrency remain a viable and trustworthy digital currency solution? If it were me with millions tied up in bitcoins, I would sell the majority of them as fast as possible and run far away from Bitcoins as possible.