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Microsoft says its worker cutback affected staff diversity

By: Chris Smith | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 39 mins ago

Due to employing 5,701 less women and 5,316 fewer men in 2015 when compared to 2014, Microsoft says that auxiliary layoffs are to blame for its 2.2 percent drop in female workforce percentages.




This drop in diversity wasn't a planned maneuver says Microsoft general manager of diversity and inclusion, Gwen Houston. Houston wrote that this percentage wasn't due to a conscious decision to slash female numbers, but due to slashing the "facilities outside the U.S. that produce handsets and hardware."


With these facilities employing a much larger percentage of females than males, the overall layoff of these staff help explain the widened gap. While the lower-level jobs have seen a slight drop in women, executive role percentages have remained unchanged and the overall racial diversity has seen improvement.

Netflix used by 51% of Internet users in the US

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 3 days, 11 hours ago

Netflix has over 70 million global subscribers, but did you know the company has an insane install base in the United States? There are 43 million US subscribers, over half of Netflix's user base.




According to a new survey from research firm RBC Capital Markets, over half of US Internet users have used Netflix to watch a movie or TV show in the last 12 months. The study also asked users what other ways they consume their video, with YouTube coming in second place. Behind that, there was Amazon Instant Video, Hulu and HBO Go.


With huge shows like House of Cards, Daredevil and the just-released Jessica Jones, it's no wonder why Netflix is such a powerhouse for video content.

YouTube will pay legal fees for some facing unfair takedown demands

By: Sean Ridgeley | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 4 days, 21 hours ago

YouTube stated today it will be paying legal fees for some of its video creators facing what they believe to be unfair takedown demands. While many demands are legitimate, YouTube's feeling is fair use laws -- which protect reuse of content for commentary, criticism, news, and parody -- aren't getting enough respect.




The aim is to fight for fair use, but also to strengthen the relationship between itself and its content creators. As of now, it's backing four of them (one runs "UFO Theater", another is abortion rights group Naral Pro-Choice Ohio), but has said it may expand.

Continue reading 'YouTube will pay legal fees for some facing unfair takedown demands' (full post)

This robot can build a four-bedroom brick house in two days, no humans

By: Chris Smith | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 5 days, 4 hours ago

Fastbrick Robotics claims that its new machine can lay a four-bedroom brick house in just two days, with zero human assistance during the construction process.




Now beginning to trade on the Australian Stock Exchange, this robotics company has spent over $7 million AU over a 10 year period developing and testing initial super machine, naming it the Hadrian 105. Pooling together $5.7 million AU in capital raising, Fastrick Robotics is now looking into building its Hadrian 109 machine, being the technology capable of this incredible feat.


Utilizing a 3D CAD structure design, much as a builder or architect would, this new technology uses a 28 meter telescopic boom to lay bricks to the configured specifications. The brick mortar is then pumped and applied through the brick-laying head, utilizing a laser alignment system to provide complete accuracy.

EB Games to attend tribunal, alleged severe employee mistreatment

By: Chris Smith | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 5 days, 16 hours ago

Kotaku broke news in July this year of alleged severe abuse and underpayment of staff at various EB Games locations throughout Australia, following the stories of a few employees and their recounts of very negative workplace experiences.




Following up these claims, news has come to light that an official complaint to the Anti-Discrimination board has failed its mediation process, one what seeked to urge EB Games to issue apologies and compensate those involved in the alleged incidents. Due to the mediation process failing to find a solution, one of the abused EB employees will be heading to the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal, taking EB Games on trial.


'Randall' is the same of the employee taking it to this multi-million dollar company, previously employed himself as a 'Senior Sales Associate', claiming he was underpaid, in addition to the abuse claims made by store employees.

Continue reading 'EB Games to attend tribunal, alleged severe employee mistreatment' (full post)

Netflix stock shoots up 10% this week

By: Sean Ridgeley | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 6 days ago

Netflix earnings were said to disappoint investors a little last month, but this month paints a prettier picture. In the past few days alone, its stock is up 10%, and since last month, 20%. For further perspective: it's up 140% this year, and is just 8% shy of the all-time best. The company finished its quarter with 69 million subscribers.




CNN Money -- which advises you "bet against Netflix at your own peril" -- attributes the good numbers to international expansion, increased viewing on smartphones, additional investors, and yet more original content.

Survey states that IT professionals are overworked

By: Chris Smith | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 1 week ago

DEsigned to pinpoint staffing numbers and issues based around the IT sector, Spiceworks found out that IT professionals are working far too much.




Some of the interesting survey data pointed out that full-time employees are working 52 hours weekly on average, discovering that those working in finance, insurance and legal sectors work more than others, clocking 55.4 hours each week. While many employees are working more than the general 40 hour week, other sectors of concern involve education at 47.2, Government at 48.7 and healthcare at 50 hours per week.


Throwing further comparisons into the mix, 57% of IT staff in North America clock more than 40 hours per week, compared to a much lower number of 49% in EMEA.

Continue reading 'Survey states that IT professionals are overworked' (full post)

Rdio is shutting down, Pandora scoops up its assets for $75 million

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 1 week ago

In a move that might shock some, Rdio is shutting down now that it has filed for bankruptcy. Pandora will be acquiring Rdio's "key assets" to the tune of $75 million.




Pandora will secure all of Rdio's technology and IP while the company will be offering jobs to "many" of Rdio's staff. With Pandora not acquiring the entire company, there will be some Rdio employees left without a job once it's all said and done. Rdio's CEO for example, will not be making the transition to Pandora.


Now that Pandora will be taking some of Rdio's most important parts, it will allow the company to become much more than just a streaming radio. Pandora has been doing well in the market, but it has struggled to maintain its growth and turn a profit, especially when it's competing against the likes of Spotify, Google and Apple which all offer various features and on-demand music streaming.

Continue reading 'Rdio is shutting down, Pandora scoops up its assets for $75 million' (full post)

Twitch adds a new role, welcomes its new VP of Game Developer Success

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 1 week ago

Twitch has announced it has added a new role to its executive team, welcoming Kathy Astromoff as the streaming giant's new VP of Game Developer Success. It wasn't too long ago that Twitch announced a new datacenter in Sydney, Australia; and more recently Twitch secured users with optional two-factor authentication.




Astromoff will be responsible for helping developers with promotion, game design, broadcaster relations, creative initiatives and strategic counsel. Astromoff said: "Game developers have only just begun to tap into the potential that Twitch represents. Reshaping the way game developers engage with their communities in the age of social video is going to break down a lot of barriers in our industry".


Before joining Twitch, Astromoff was the founder of Blink, a company that "connects developers with broadcasters to drive user installs and a freelance marketing consultant", reports

Mobile gaming is big business, worth $25 billion by the end of 2015

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 1 week, 4 days ago

We know that mobile gaming is huge, but did you know it was worth up to $25 billion? According to the latest report from EEDAR 'Deconstructing Mobile & Tablet Gaming 2015', the global market for mobile gaming will be worth $25 billion or so by the end of 2015.




The United States, Japan and China are where most of the money is made with $5.41 billion, $5.16 billion and $5.01 billion, respectively. South Korea is behind considerably, but still worth a large chunk of $1.37 billion. The Asia Pacific countries collectively make up most of the world's mobile gaming business, with 50% of the world's mobile gamers making 56% of the global revenues coming from the Asia Pacific region.


When you take a closer look at the numbers, the US is where there are more female mobile gamers, with 55% of mobile gamers being women. In Japan, China and South Korea, 55-60% of mobile gamers are male. When you break down the amount of money gamers are spending on mobile gaming, mobile gamers in the US spend around $3.30 per month each on games. But in China, it drops to $1.32 and up considerably for South Korea with $5.91. Looking at the Japanese mobile gamers, where they have an overall average spending of $9.39.

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