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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 111

Apple and Qualcomm senior engineers hired by AMD, looking to make a big push in 2013

AMD has hired two new senior engineers who had previously worked for the company earlier in their careers. Wayne Meretsky was the technical lead for Mac OS at Apple before joining AMD in 1999, then left for a position at a robotics company only to return to AMD in December.

 

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Charles Marar, also a former AMD employee, is returning as vice president of System-on-Chip Development after spending some time at Qualcomm. AMD describes the two hires as an effort to expand into new markets. These hires come on the heels of Apple's Jim Keller who joined AMD as chief architect this past August.

 

Rumors are floating around that both Sony and Microsoft may be using AMD chipsets in their next-generation consoles set to launch this spring. If those rumors are true, and AMD's Temash tablet processor is a hit, 2013 could prove to be a pivotal year for the company which has seen a downtrend over the past few years.

Continue reading 'Apple and Qualcomm senior engineers hired by AMD, looking to make a big push in 2013' (full post)

Al Gore scores a sweet deal on some Apple stock

Thanks to the US Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Al Gore, who sits on the Apple board, recently purchased 59,000 shares of Apple stock. This shouldn't be news, but the following bit will make you realise why: Gore purchased the stock at a rock bottom price of $7.48 per share.

 

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At just $7.48 per share, Gore made a ridiculous amount of profit. The reason he was able to grab the stock at such a low price, is that he exercised his director stock options. Gore's 59,000 shares are worth a very nice $29.5 million, a nice profit as he only paid $440,000 for the stock. Gore was awarded 30,000 options when he joined the board of Apple in 2003 and at the time the stock in Apple was worth $14.95 per share.

 

Gore purchased 60,000 shares in Apple at the same price back in 2008, when Apple shares were worth $124 or so each. The Apple board member still has 61,574 share options available through his heavy discount options, even after this transaction has taken place.


Atari files for bankruptcy in US, selling off logo, assets

Atari, a pioneer in the video game industry, has filed bankruptcy in the US. Unfortunately, it seems that the parent company, Atari SA, is debt-laden and this move is a way to free the company from the parent. By doing this, Atari is looking to continue as a company, just on its own.

 

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Atari is selling off assets in the next three to four months, including its iconic logo. The company that emerges from the other side of bankruptcy is slated to be a company focused on the digital and mobile platforms. Atari has already been gearing up towards Android and iOS development since 2010.

 

Atari has reportedly received a debtor-in-possession investment of $5.25 million so that the company is capable of continuing to operate during the bankruptcy process. The plan is to seek a private buyer after the bankruptcy process, though that could be hard if they have sold off their iconic franchises and logo.

Google-commissioned survey shows that US P2P users buy 30 % more music, another study showing P2P users not bad

As much as the RIAA and MPAA would like to convince lawmakers and citizens that pirates and people who illegally download movies and music are harming the industry, study after study suggest quite the opposite. Take, for example, a study commissioned by Google, which shows that US P2P users buy 30 percent more music.

 

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Google commissioned Columbia University's American Assembly research center to survey Americans on file sharing and copyright enforcement. In the survey, data suggests that Americans are generally against the use of bandwidth throttling and disconnection as punishment for illegal downloading.

 

The most important piece of information to come from the study is the finding that US P2P users tend to buy 30 percent more music than their non-sharing brethren. More studies are needed, however, but this study can join the pile of others that show file-sharing doesn't harm sales.

Continue reading 'Google-commissioned survey shows that US P2P users buy 30 % more music, another study showing P2P users not bad' (full post)

The world's first 3D-printed building to be constructed in 2014

Right now 3D printing hasn't taken off into the mainstream, but over the coming years it's definitely going to be leaving a bigger footprint. A Dutch architect is looking at 3D printing a home, where he hopes it'll be constructed by 2014.

 

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Janjaap Ruijssenaars of Universe Architecture is the man behind the idea, and the 3D printed home is his project which is part of the Europan competition which lets architects in over 15 different countries build projects over the course of two years. Ruijssenaars will work with Italian inventor Enrico Dini, who is the founder of the D-Shape 3D printer.

 

The project will use 6x9 chunks of frame, which will be comprised of sand and inorganic binder. After this, they'll fill the frame with fiber-reinforced concrete. The final product looks amazing, which features a single flowing design, and will be a two-storey building.

Microsoft hires designer Andrew Kim, will work with the Xbox division

"The Next Microsoft" was a vision by designer Andrew Kim, and received a bunch of press when it was unveiled last year. It was a minimal rebranding for the company across multiple platforms such as Windows, Surface and Office - but it worked, and it worked well.

 

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Kim has now announced that the Redmond-based software giant has hired him after seeing his designs, countless other companies were after Kim, but Kim says that Microsoft was the most obvious choice. He also promises that he is to create his "greatest work ever" when he starts at the company in a few months time.

 

Kim will be working within the Xbox division, which is an interesting move considering we've been hearing about the next-generation Xbox launch in the summer. If this happens, we should - and hopefully - see a total revamp of the Xbox brand. It's been a while coming, but let's hope that Microsoft ditch the number and just call it 'Xbox'.

Google invests $1 billion into a plot of land for a new central London HQ

During the week, search and mobile OS giant Google purchased a 2.4-acre plot of land in the King's Cross Central development, where they will begin construction on a new 1 million square foot office based in the UK.

 

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Google haven't announced just how much they invested into the land, but a source close to the deal reportedly told Reuters that the Mountain View-based company are investing around $1.04 billion into the project. By the time the construction is completed at an estimated 2016, the building is expected to increase in value, putting it at $1.6 billion worth.

 

Construction will begin later this year, and the building will range in height from between seven to eleven stories. Google plan to completely relocate to the complex in 2016. At the moment, Google's UK operations are based out of offices in London's Victoria district, where property prices are much higher.

Sony dump their New York City HQ for $1.1 billion, hopefully investing it into the PS4

I knew Sony were in trouble, but is this a sign of serious problems for the Japanese electronics giant? Sony have now announced they're selling their New York headquarters to a consortium led by The Chetrit Group.

 

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After Sony settle their debts on the building, the $1.1 billion sale will see Sony cash in around $685 million in operating income. This will help their Q3 earnings, but it won't help the company in the long run. Rumor has it that Sony are looking to repeat the sell off in Japan, which will see another $1.14 billion enter their accounts.

 

Do you see this as a sign of confidence for Sony? Or as a sign of things to come? I personally think that if the PlayStation 4 isn't super successful, and by that I mean a total homerun, it'll be lights out for Sony. Maybe not right away, but in the coming 1-2 years, that's my prediction. They need something big and they need it now.

Continue reading 'Sony dump their New York City HQ for $1.1 billion, hopefully investing it into the PS4' (full post)

Diablo III lead director leaves the game, will shift somewhere else within Blizzard

Diablo III's Game Director, Jay Wilson, has announced through the Blizzard forums that he is leaving his post. Wilson has been in this position for seven years now, and is looking to move on as he has "reached a point creatively where I'm looking forward to working on something new".

 

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Wilson will now move from the Diablo III project and onto something else within the company, so this definitely isn't hit resignation from the company. Wilson cites that he wasn't the only person working on the project and there are still many committed employees of Blizzard tweaking and working on Diablo III to continue to impress fans.

 

Wilson finishes his post by telling the world that patch version 1.0.7 is on its way, and that there are "many other great things brewing for Diablo in 2013". He finishes his post with something personal, and witty:

 

You are the most passionate, dedicated group of gamers a designer could hope to have. I wish you all the best, and want to thank you for making this an amazing experience for me. Keep your axes sharp, your spell books handy, and that crafty devil in check.

 

--Jay

Google sits on top of the Fortune 100 list, wonders where Apple is - oh wait, they're not even in the top 100

Google would be popping the Moet right now, as Fortune have released their annual list of the top 100 companies to work for, with Google taking out the top dog, number one position on the list.

 

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This is not the first time the Mountain View-based company has taken the top spot, but their fourth time riding high on the Fortune 100 list. The explanation as to why Google is the best company to work for, is:

 

The Internet juggernaut takes the Best Companies crown for the fourth time, and not just for the 100,000 hours of subsidized massages it doled out in 2012. New this year are three wellness centers and a seven-acre sports complex, which includes a roller hockey rink; courts for basketball, bocce, and shuffle ball; and horseshoe pits.

 

The funny thing? Apple isn't even listed in the top 100, at all. Qualcomm takes out number 11, Intel with number 68 and Microsoft at 75. Apple? Nowhere, not in sight, at all. This. Changes. Everything. Again.

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