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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 116

Intel continue to feel pain, quarterly profits drop 25% for Q1 2013

We know the PC industry is in a state of pain, but it looks like the largest chipmaker is hurting, too. Intel have just posted their latest earnings report, revealing that their quarterly profits for Q1 2013 are down 25% year-over-year.

 

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For Q1 2013, Intel made $2.045 billion in profits, down from $2.738 billion last year. Intel CEO, Paul Otellini, said in a statement:

 

Amidst market softness, Intel performed well in the first quarter and I'm excited about what lies ahead for the company. We shipped our next-generation PC microprocessors, introduced a new family of products for micro-servers, and will ship our new tablet and smartphone microprocessors this quarter.

Continue reading 'Intel continue to feel pain, quarterly profits drop 25% for Q1 2013' (full post)

Beijing-based firm open position for a 'chief porn identification officer', offering $32k a year for the position

A Beijing-based third-party Internet security company called Anquan, are looking for a "chief porn identification officer", a position they posted on their Weibo account.

 

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The company was started in 2010, with the goal to "combat bad information on the internet" and promote greater control of porn on the web. Anquan have big partners in Baidu and Tencent, as well as government agencies that regulate the Internet in China. Here's a translated version of the job post:

 

Job Location: Beijing

Salary: 200,000 RMB/year [$32,348.40 annually]

Job Responsibilities: Quickly and accurately identifying pornographic and obscene websites.

 

Job Description:

  • 1. Research and study pornographic videos and images, formulate criteria for determining obscenity.
  • 2. Deploy courseware on the standards of obscenity determination, and study materials such as educational videos on pornography.
  • 3. Manage and rate pornographic resources (including BT seeds, images, and online videos).

Continue reading 'Beijing-based firm open position for a 'chief porn identification officer', offering $32k a year for the position' (full post)

Android on track to hit total of 1B activations sometime this year, according to Eric Schmidt

Eric Schmidt has said that the total number of Android activations are set to cross the one billion threshold in "six to nine months." Currently, Android devices are being activated at the rate of about 1.5 million per day, an impressive rate that will likely continue to increase as more developing markets start demanding smartphones.

 

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"Android is by far the primary vehicle by which people are going to see smartphones," Schmidt said.

 

Schmidt remained somewhat secretive about future Android plans. In regards to the promotion of Sundar Pichai, he added, "Don't confuse organization design and product design." In other words, don't have your heart set on Chrome OS and Android OS becoming one in the same.

 

A total of one billion Android device activations is quite the accomplishment. It goes to show how popular the Android platform is and how it helps to have an operating system that can be used across a wide range of devices, much like Windows.

Google Fiber TV gets HBO and Cinemax for an additional charge

Google has managed to negotiate deals with HBO and Cinemax so that customers who are using the Google Fiber TV bundle package can now add on HBO and Cinemax--for a price. Any Google Fiber TV customer can add the new HBO package for $20/month (tax not included). This package includes HBO, HBO2, HBO Signature, HBO Family, HBO Latino, HBO Comedy, and HBO Zone.

 

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Cinemax fans will be able to get the new Cinemax package for just $10/month (again, tax not included). The Cinemax package includes Max, MoreMax, ActionMax, ThrillerMax, WMax, @Max, 5-StarMax, and OuterMax. If you're a serious TV watcher, Google rolled out a new "premium package" that will set you back $40/month.

 

The premium package comes with STARZ, Showtime, HBO, and Cinemax.

 

You can sign up for these packages starting now. If you already have Fiber service installed in your home, you can call customer service 24/7 at 866-777-7550 to have any of these packages added.

Some Apple TVs have WiFi issues, Apple to replace faulty units

Apple has discovered that a "very small number" of Apple TVs might have issues with WiFi. Because of this, Apple has opened up a replacement program, authorizing Apple Authorized Service Providers or Apple themselves to replace faulty third-generation Apple TV devices for up to two years from the purchase date.

 

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The issues include the device not being able to locate a network, join a network, or being unable to maintain a steady connection to a network. To be eligible for a replacement, your serial number must fall within the range provided by Apple. This means the last four characters must be DRHN and the third and fourth characters must be one of the following:

 

H9, HC, HD, HF, HG, HH, HJ, HK, HL, HM, HN, HP, HQ, HR, HT, HV, HW, HX, J1, J2, J3, J4, J5, J6, J7, J8, or J9

Trader who made unauthorized $1bn purchase of Apple stock pleads guilty to fraud charges

You might not remember when a former Rochdale Securities trader was arrested last December or why he was arrested, but today he plead guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy after making an unauthorized purchase of $1 billion in Apple stock that led to the demise of Rochdale Securities.

 

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David Miller's lawyer:

What happened here was out of character for a kind and generous family man who has lived an otherwise law-abiding and good life. He deeply regrets what he has done and the harm it has caused to other people, including the former principals and employees at Rochdale.

 

David Miller ordered 1.625 million shares of Apple stock, telling Rochdale that the trade was for a customer. That customer had, in fact, only ordered just 1,625 shares of Apple stock. After the stock fell in price, Rochdale lost about $5.3 million.

 

The SEC has filed a civil fraud lawsuit against Miller. It's not clear what the SEC hopes to gain from the civil lawsuit.

OCZ in hot water with NASDAQ, receives letter threatening delisting

OCZ has received a letter from the NASDAQ stock exchange explaining that they will be delisted from the stock exchange if they do not disclose financial earnings. OCZ is able to request a stay of delisting which will then have to be approved by the NASDAQ Listing Qualifications Panel.

 

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We all know OCZ has been in a bit of financial trouble and has laid off a large portion of its staff. It also delayed reporting its financial earnings and has still not reported earnings for the quarters ending August 31, 2012, November 30, 2012.

 

OCZ says that they have made substantial progress towards completing the required financial documentation.

ReportTT: Foxconn hiring for Zhengzhou factory, indicative of iPhone production ramping up

Bloomberg is reporting that Foxconn has once again started hiring for their plant in Zhengzhou, the plant where Apple's iPhone is produced. Workers have apparently been recruited for the last month after Apple requested an increase in capacity at the plant. The workers will be constructing both existing models and new ones.

 

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The Wall Street Journal said that Foxconn has been hiring about 10,000 people per week since the end of March. Foxconn noted that Zhengzhou currently employs around 250,000-300,000 people, though they wouldn't say how many have been added during this most recent hiring binge.

 

If Apple has asked for increased capacity, you can imagine that Apple is working on ramping up production for the latest iPhone. Apple needs to get the iPhone released fairly soon to compete with the next-gen HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4.

Dish Network wants to merge with Sprint for $25.5 billion

Dish Network has submitted a proposal to Sprint's Board of Directors that aims to see the two companies merge. Dish has offered up $25.5 billion for Sprint, which is higher than the offer on the table by SoftBank. "DISH is offering Sprint shareholders a total consideration of $25.5 billion, consisting of $17.3 billion in cash and $8.2 billion in stock."

 

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Charlie Ergen, Chairman of DISH Network:

The DISH proposal clearly presents Sprint shareholders with a superior alternative to the pending SoftBank proposal. Sprint shareholders will benefit from a higher price with more cash while also creating the opportunity to participate more meaningfully in a combined DISH/Sprint with a significantly-enhanced strategic position and substantial synergies that are not attainable through the pending SoftBank proposal.

 

Dish expects growth opportunities of around $37 billion and $11 billion in cost savings. Now Sprint will have to decide whether to take SoftBank's deal or Dish Network's deal. Both have their own benefits: SoftBank has lots of cash and Dish has lots of spectrum reserve. We'll let you know when Sprint comes to a decision.

Foursquare borrows $41 million, continues to ponder how to monetize the check-in app

Foursquare have just announced a new injection of funding from loans from new and current investors to the tune of $41 million. This has put the company in the position of now quickly trying to generate actual revenue and move away from the simple social check-in app they are now.

 

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The money hasn't come from investors handing cash over to Foursquare for shares, but instead new investor Silver Lake Waterman led the financing with something that is being called a multi-year loan. Existing Foursquare investors offered loans that will convert to equity if the company's valuation rises, these investors are Andreessen Horowitz, O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures.

 

This means, in reality, that Foursquare have checked themselves into a very hard place. They will now indirectly be forced to create revenue, to continue their interest and principal payments on their Silver Lake loan or risk default. Creating a steady income is going to be hard for Foursquare, as right now they're without such a cash flow.

 

I still maintain that they'll get acquired soon enough, and I'm surprised it hasn't happened sooner.

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