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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 98

Google's stock hits record high of $800

Google's stock continues to perform incredibly well, even while Apple's stock falters. Google's stock increased over 1 percent earlier this morning, topping out at $804.00. This is the first time the stock price has been over $800 and it shows no signs of stopping growing.


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The boost has come from renewed investor confidence that Google can continue to increase revenue and profit, even as cost-per-click continues to decline. What's really funny about this whole thing is that Google would actually like the stock price to be lower. They attempted to split the stock last year, but have been unable to due to a lawsuit alleging that a split unfairly gives too much power to co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Bill Gates talks about the current Microsoft CEO's performance, talks of their mistakes with the mobile market and more

During an interview with CBS' Charlie Rose, Founder and Chairman of Microsoft, the infamous Bill Gates, talked about a number of things with the Redmond-based everything giant.



The most interesting part of the interview were Gates' comments on the mobile industry, and how they didn't jump out of the gate early enough - allowing Apple and Google to capitilize on this. Gates also discussed the performance of Steve Ballmer, the current CEO of Microsoft, saying that he and Ballmer were two of the most self-critical people he knew, and that there are plenty of great things Microsoft have achieved under Ballmer's leadership over the last twelve months.


Gates pointed to Windows 8 and Surface as being the key to the future, but he did add that this simply isn't enough. I think the big change that Microsoft will go through - well, I hope they do anyway - is Xbox. I hope they really push the platform and not forget the PC this time. If they were to combine these worlds, they would be truly unstoppable - not only against Apple, but Google, Sony and Nintendo.

Continue reading 'Bill Gates talks about the current Microsoft CEO's performance, talks of their mistakes with the mobile market and more' (full post)

Facebook won't be paying any taxes, will enjoy a nice fat refund though

Facebook have made $1.1 billion in profits since they've gone public, but they won't be paying any federal or state taxes on these profits. Better yet, the largest social network in the world will enjoy a very nice federal tax refund of around $429 million.


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Before Facebook went public last year, Citizens for Tax Justice, a research group, said that this would happen, and have just released a breakdown of what the social network's crafty accounting skills have amounted to in their 2012 annual report. It all comes down to the tax deductibility on executive stock options, which Facebook gave plenty out of last year, with the deductible ended up actually being more than Facebook owed in taxes to the state, and federal governments.


This means that instead of Facebook having to pay anything to the government, the roles are reversed and the government will hand money over to Facebook - a refund nearing half a billion dollars. This refund comes from the taxes Facebook paid in 2010 and 2011. The good news doesn't stop for Facebook there, as they'll be carrying "forward another $2.17 billion in additional tax-option tax breaks for use in future years." This means that Facebook will, for as long as they can, continue to do this.

Continue reading 'Facebook won't be paying any taxes, will enjoy a nice fat refund though' (full post)

Google reportedly planning to open retail stores by year's end

It looks as though we may soon be able to go to our local Google store to check out the company's latest technology offerings. While it will likely be structured a bit like the Microsoft stores in that they feature other companies' hardware, the stores will allow Google the chance to offer hands-on experiences of their own devices, such as the Nexus 4.


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The report comes from 9to5Google who cites "an extremely reliable source." They say that Google is planning to have the first of its retail stores open by year's end in major metropolitan areas. These stores will be a bit different than the current Chrome store-within-a-store that Google currently has in Best Buys.


The idea for Google retail stores is said to have come out of plans to take Project Glass to the public. Google felt it would be hard to sell a device that will retail for $500-$1000 without offering a try-before-you-buy opportunity. The retail stores will also give Google a chance to demonstrate other products, such as Chromebooks and driverless cars.

Zynga and EA settle dispute, drop lawsuits against each other

For our happy Friday story, we can report that Zynga and EA have agreed to drop their lawsuits against each other. In a document filed today, both companies agreed to drop their lawsuits with prejudice, which means they are unable to file new lawsuits with the same causes of action.


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EA's lawsuit accused Zynga of copying one of their games. Zynga fired back with a lawsuit that accused EA of unfair hiring practices. It's likely that the companies didn't want to air dirty laundry and decided to drop it. Both companies are paying for their own legal fees and there has been no mention of a settlement.


Zynga confirmed the dismissal: "EA and Zynga have resolved their respective claims and have reached a settlement of their litigation in the Northern District of California."

Apple looking for engineering manager to work on 'high-priority' next-gen Apple TV features

While job postings can sometimes be used to predict future products and directions that companies will take, the latest job posting by Apple doesn't reveal much other than the fact they are looking for an "experienced engineering manager to help deliver the next generation features for Apple TV."


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The job posting doesn't offer up any details what those features might be, though rumors have popped up suggesting that Apple is planning an event this fall to unveil a new Apple TV SDK.


One of the more interesting components of the job listing is that the project is listed as a "high-priority" project. Previously, Apple has referred to the Apple TV as a hobby. While this could be indicative of the rumored TV analysts say they are working on, it could just be that Apple TV uptake has increased and it has started to become a main venture.


The job listing can be found on Apple's website.

Julian Assange to run for a seat in the Australian senate

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange talked of plans to run for a seat in the Australian senate in December of last year, but now it's official, he will be running for a seat in the senate as part of the WikiLeaks party.


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Research from the Australian Labor Party's internal polling company, UMR Research, points to Assange being a competitive candidate in either New South Wales or Victoria. With Assange currently living in the Ecuador embassy in London, to stop his extradition to Sweden, it would be difficult for him to run for the seat. Australian law permits citizens living overseas to run for office at home, though.


What will be harder for the WikiLeaks founder is how it will run the entire WikiLeaks party campaign from the opposite side of the world, or if he were to win the election, how would he assume office? Skype?

Continue reading 'Julian Assange to run for a seat in the Australian senate' (full post)

Vimeo acquires Echograph team and assets

Vimeo has acquired the Echograph team and assets. Echograph is an app that is used to turn videos into animated GIFs. Vimeo seems to be banking on the trend of GIFs being popular and wants to make sure they have a piece of the pie. The two services are quite complementary as it will now be even easier to turn Vimeo videos into GIFs for sharing on the web.


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In addition to acquiring the team and assets, Vimeo has made the Echograph iOS app a free download. Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.


Echograph creator Nick Alt will become the new Vice President of Mobile at Vimeo. Vimeo's CEO believes his "proven track record of building innovative video apps made it a perfect fit for Vimeo."


You can download the Echgraph app from the App Store.

RumorTT: Nokia may drop Samsung as a supplier for components used in its devices

A rumor has surfaced suggesting that Nokia may follow Apple's lead and ditch Samsung as a component supplier so as to slow down their growth as a company. Apple is working on moving away from components supplied from Samsung as the relationship continues to be tested by ongoing legal battles around the world.


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According to the rumor, Nokia is looking into alternative suppliers as well. They don't want to support a company that has become one of their biggest competitors in the mobile market. Nokia is still one of the largest device makers in the world, producing nearly as many devices as Samsung and more than double that of Apple.


While Samsung doesn't make as much profit from the components as it does from finished devices, losing Nokia as a customer would definitely be a blow, especially when coupled with losing Apple as a customer. Of course, this is just a rumor and no relationship has yet been severed.

Ex-RIM CEO sells all of his 26.8 million shares in one day

It looks like one of RIM's old CEOs doesn't have much faith in the company. Jim Balsillie, one of the co-founders of the once great cell phone manufacturer has dumped all of his 26.8 million shares in just one day according to an SEC filing that was posted this morning. This certainly doesn't bode well for the company.


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Those shares that were once worth $6 billion are now worth only about $375.2 million. Obviously, he is trying to jump ship while they still some have value. It's not likely that the price-per-share will ever return to the high that it was at just after the iPhone launched.


Some think that BlackBerry 10 will be able to turn the company around and others disagree. Reviews of the new devices have been mixed. The one clear message that has been sent by the former CEO dumping his stock is that he doesn't believe in the company.

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