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Acer is welcoming a takeover of the company after share prices tumble

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 13 hours, 13 mins ago

Acer hasn't been doing so well lately, with the Taiwanese giant welcoming a takeover bid. The news is coming directly from Acer founder Stan Shih, where he welcomed a takeover of his company after big dips in its share price.

 

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Shih told reporters in a response to question about Acer being open for a takeover, that they would be "welcome" and that the buyer would get an "empty shell" and pay deeply. He added: "U.S. and European management teams usually are concerned about money, their CEOs only work for money. But Taiwanese are more concerned about a sense of mission and emotional factors".

 

A company spokesperson confirmed Shih's remarks on Thursday. Acer has taken some big dips recently, with big on-year sales falls, with a huge 33% drop in July alone. The company took a $90 million loss for the first half of 2015, after a slight profit in the same period of 2015. Acer noted losses for the entire of 2011, 2012 and 2013 following drops in PC sales.

Angry Birds developer flings more jobs out of the window

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 1 day, 20 hours ago

It was only late last year that Rovio Entertainment laid off 110 staff, with the Angry Birds developer laying off another 260 employees as it tries to be a smaller, more profitable studio.

 

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Rovio CEO Pekka Rantala said that the company was too quick to "explore new business opportunities" as it attempted to do "too many things" at once. Rovio's profits continue to fall, so the layoffs are a quick and easy way of pulling themselves out of the mess. All the while the Sony-made Angry Birds movie, with the layoffs only affecting every area but the movie side of things.

Spotify quickly apologizes due to privacy changes causing anger

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 1 week ago

Spotify tried to quietly change its privacy policy, but issued a public apology after members and subscribers voiced their displeasure over the changes.

 

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The policy change requested access to pictures on mobile devices, phone contacts, voice controls, and location information - but Spotify justified the changes.

 

Users are able to choose which images they choose with Spotify, and have control over how the images are stored and used. The location identification is to help personalize recommendations, along with share information about trending music in a user's area. Spotify might include voice controls so it's easier to control playlists, and isn't interested in accessing a user's microphone without permission.

Continue reading 'Spotify quickly apologizes due to privacy changes causing anger' (full post)

Apple: Just 21% of Apple Music testers have left the service so far

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 1 week ago

After reports that Apple Music members are jumping ship, Apple has issued a statement saying just 21 percent of users have stopped using the streaming music service.

 

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The MusicWatch survey indicated around 48 percent of people testing the service are jumping ship. In its survey of 5,000 users, 28 percent are Spotify Premium members, 11 percent use Spotify free users, and six percent listen to ad-supported Pandora.

 

In late July, it was reported Apple Music had 10 million users - and Apple reported 11 million users in early August - are currently enjoying a free three-month trial of the new streaming service. Spotify has 20 million paid subscribers and about 55 million free users.

Continue reading 'Apple: Just 21% of Apple Music testers have left the service so far' (full post)

Samsung will begin making HBM early next year

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

It looks like the High Bandwidth Memory game is about to receive a very big new player in the form of Samsung, with the South Korean electronics giant announcing at IDF 2015 that it will begin mass production of HBM early next year.

 

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Right now HBM1 is limited to just 4GB and 512GB/sec, but HBM2 will be capable of driving far past 8GB and sitting at around 1TB/sec memory bandwidth. We should expect new video cards to feature up to 48GB of HBM2, with consumer cards most likely sitting at around 8-12GB of HBM2. With NVIDIA dominating the GPU market share with no signs of slowing down, next year is going to be one of the biggest for GPUs.

 

HBM2 is going to usher in more changes in the next 12-18 months than I think most people can even predict, especially when we begin seeing professional video cards (think video professionals, servers and the like) with GPUs packing 48GB of HBM2 with up to 1.5TB/sec of memory bandwidth. Even the fastest GeForce cards right now only feature 334GB/sec of memory bandwidth, while the HBM1-powered Fury X from AMD packing 512GB/sec bandwidth.

AMD continues to cut spending on R&D, down 40% in the last five years

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

Riding back on the news that AMD has lost a considerable chunk of the discrete GPU market this quarter, this news of AMD spending less and less on research and development is not good to hear.

 

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AMD shares dropped 13% last Monday without any new information or reasoning behind the huge dip in share prices, but it could be a result of NVIDIA's better than expected financials, or it could be the fact that AMD has lost more market share to NVIDIA, even after the release of its first next-gen GPU in nearly two years.

 

Furthermore, AMD has been scaling back R&D spending over the last five years, with Pacific Crest analyst Mike McConnell chiming in, with the following: "When I talk to investors about AMD, there's some concern - I mean, we've seen a decline by close to 40% versus levels we were at in the beginning of the decade". AMD CTO Mark Papermaster has said that the PC market is shrinking, and that AMD is putting less R&D effort into that part of the business.

 

Papermaster said: "So it is on that next generation of CPUs starting with Zen. It is on successive generations of our graphics core next." With particular reference to its APU and GCN designs Papermaster boasted that a lot of investments have paid off in getting its APUs adopted for its game console wins. Furthermore the AMD CTO asserted that "we have a very strong roadmap for that Graphics Core Next IP going forward".

LG bets the farm on OLED displays, investing over $8.5 billion

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 1 week, 3 days ago

LG has just committed a rather large $8.5 billion into developing OLED technology over the next three years, where it wants to see OLED panels in everything from TVs to wearables.

 

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The company has said that the investment is a goal for them to "pioneer this untapped OLED market" and to "keep the competitors at bay". The investment into OLED production will benefit LG in the long run, as the competition in the TV and display space against Samsung heats up over the next couple of years.

Australian Senate could force Google, Apple to declare tax payments

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

In the next 24 hours, we're going to find out if Apple and Google will be forced to declare how much tax they pay in Australia annually, with the Australian Senate committee pushing in new recommendations.

 

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These recommendations are lengthy, with 18 of them in total, including that all companies should annually disclose how much money they've made in Australia. Not only that, but how much tax they paid, tax deductions, and other government write-offs. One of the bigger points of these 18 recommendations, is naming and shaming companies that dodge tax.

 

Labor senator Sam Dastyari said that one of the key issues was transparency, adding that every dollar avoided "is a dollar that's not going to a hospital, a school or an institution of welfare that's needed in this country. Right now, the laws as they currently stand mean that Australia's worst tax offenders are able to hide behind privacy provisions. It's time we named them, and we shamed them and it's time that we actually gave the Australian public an opportunity to know who these companies are, to know the practices they're engaging in, to not allow them to hide behind what currently exists as privacy provisions".

Continue reading 'Australian Senate could force Google, Apple to declare tax payments' (full post)

TSMC kicks off volume production of 16nm chips 'as expected'

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 1 week, 5 days ago

The time has come: TSMC has announced that its "16nm [chips] smoothly entered volume production as expected". The Taiwanese chipmaker told investors that it had started 16nm volume production after a report said that Apple was reducing the amount of orders it was sending TSMC's way.

 

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Instead of Apple going to TSMC, the iPhone giant would instead send the orders to its largest rival; Samsung, as well as GlobalFoundries. The first production runs of the 16nm node will be for Apple's SoCs according to the latest rumors, while other companies are waiting in line. This includes NVIDIA, LG, Freescale Semiconductor, Avago, LG, and MediaTek. AMD is reportedly not on the list, but this could be wrong, with the company reportedly preparing its Zen CPU architecture, as well as its Arctic Islands GPU architecture that will be made on the 16nm process.

 

TSMC has also teased that it will soon begin ramping up "an enhanced version of 16nm chips, or 16 FinFET+ chips, in the third quarter and that production would reach a high volume in the same quarter". This is what NVIDIA is waiting for, especially for its gigantic and surely super-powered next-gen Pascal-based GP100 GPU. NVIDIA's GP100 chip is absolutely mammoth, with a rumored 17 billion transistors and up to 32GB of HBM2.

HTC announces 15% reduction of its global workforce

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Aug 14, 2015 1:35 am

It's not a secret that HTC is struggling right now, but the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer has just announced that it will be culling 15% of its workforce after continued struggles with sales.

 

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The company just released its Q2 results, with a forecast for Q3 that is even worse than the previous three months. Cher Wang, CEO of HTC, said: "Now, as we diversify beyond smartphones, we need a flexible and dynamic organization to ensure we can take advantage of all of the exciting opportunities in the connected lifestyle space".

 

Personally, I think HTC has a future in VR headsets if it can successfully launch and sell considerable units of its upcoming Vive headset, something it collaborated with Valve on. But, it's a risk, as anything is, and HTC isn't in the position for more continued losses.

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