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It's kind of an end of an era for Sony, with the Japanese giant falling on its sword in multiple of its failing divisions. We've seen the company sell of its VAIO laptop business, which is now making a comeback, but there's some more news that many will be sad over.
Sony wants to make a 25-fold increase in its profits, by concentrating on products that actually make the company money. Considering the company has just recorded its sixth net loss in seven years, many can see why. Sony's stock on the other hand has actually grown by 80% in the last 12 months, as its CEO, Kaz Hirai, has been restructuring the core of Sony's business.
Hirai has been able to do this by focusing on making less products, to ensure they're making the right products, that sell well. This effort of restructuring will continue, but now the company has announced it will be pulling out of more markets. In the end, Sony will be making the PlayStation its near sole purpose, as well as making Sony camera sensors for companies like Apple. The company has thought of pulling out of the TV market with its Bravia brand, as LG and Samsung have been making serious inroads in the TV business over the years.
Today it was announced that David Thodey will be stepping down as the Telstra CEO, with chief financial officer and group executive international, Andrew Penn, taking up the role as of May 1, 2015.
As revealed this morning by Telstra chairman Catherine Livingston, Thodey was praised as an "outstanding chief executive," with further mention that the company has seen a double in their value since his appointment in 2009. Thodey, 60, will be helping Penn transition into the position over the next few months - stating that "our journey to being a world class customer service organization is generational progress. We have achieved much change but there is a lot more to do."
Working in Melbourne, Australia - Penn will be receiving a fixed remuneration package of $2.325m, including superannuation and the eligibility of short-term incentives. It might sound like quite a lot, however Telstra has reported another record half-yearly profit, with its $2.085 billion figure meaning a 22.4 percent increase when compared to the previous period.
Samsung has purchased U.S. mobile payments firm LoopPay, giving the South Korean electronics company a strategy to compete with Apple Pay. It looks like a new mobile payments solution will be introduced on March 1, during Samsung's Galaxy S6 smartphone event.
Unlike Apple Pay, LoopPay's solution can convert traditional point-of-sale (POS) systems so they are able to accept contactless payments. Customers tap their smartphone next to a LoopPay card reader connected to the POS, with Samsung saying 90 percent of current systems support the mobile payment technology.
"Our goal has always been to build the smartest, most secure, user-friendly mobile wallet experience, and we are delighted to welcome LoopPay to take us closer to this goal," said JK Shin, co-CEO and head of Samsung's mobile business, said in a public statement.
The number of stores and services now accepting bitcoins may top 100,000 worldwide, but it appears actual purchases using the volatile cryptocurrency remains low. There also is increased skepticism because of a continued drop in bitcoin value in recent months, frightening away potential investors and customers.
Bitcoin supporters say the cryptocurrency is far from dead - and urge owners to show patience during a rough time - especially as there are potential uses for bitcoin technology besides just finance.
"There are some breakthroughs in technology that are going to endure whether bitcoin survives or not," said David Yermack, professor of finance at the New York University Stern School of Business, in a statement published by the Boston Globe.
There was an interesting post that I read yesterday somewhere in the world of Reddit, but it was late and I was laying in bed. I awoke today to the news being spread throughout the Internet, that Apple could purchase Tesla Motors sometime in the next 18 months for an absolutely gigantic $75 billion.
The rumors are coming from Interent entrepreneur and angel investor Jason Calacanis, who is saying that all the dominoes are lining up for Apple to acquire Tesla. Calacanis said that he has no insider information, but he has said that Apple's all of the sudden interest in building cars, and Tim Cook's "obsession" with renewable energy are giant hints. Calacanis wrote: "No one else in the world could actually make a run at Tesla, because they either don't have the cash and, most importantly, they don't have the ability to give assurances to Elon that they won't f- it up. Apple's design team, software, and global distribution would actually LEVEL Tesla up".
Remember, this probably won't happen - I would dare say it will not happen, but the rumor is interesting nonetheless. Maybe Apple is testing the waters by pushing this rumor out into the world?
If you thought Samsung and LG only battled it out in the TV and smartphone industries, you'd be wrong. Remember, both of the South Korean electronics giants also fight it out in our laundries, too.
Well, South Korean prosecutors have charged LG executive Jo Seong-Jin and two other LG employees with purposefully damaging Samsung washing machines in an German retail store. Jo's lawyers don't think there's enough evidence of the fact, most of which is probably because the washing machine can't talk, but it doesn't look like Samsung will roll over and take it easily.
It was only a couple of weeks ago that investment firm Columbus Nova purchased Sony Online Entertainment, which renamed to Daybreak Game Company, but now we're seeing layoffs from within the company.
Development of games will still happen for Daybreak Game Company, including the ongoing work for H1Z1, with the company explaining: "To better position our newly independent studio for future growth opportunities and to deliver on our legacy of making top online games, we have had to make some tough choices including realignment of resources".
Daybreak Game Company continued: "Unfortunately, this realignment means adjusting staffing as well. We announced today that we will eliminate positions in our San Diego and Austin studios. Many of us are saying goodbye to close friends and colleagues who we've worked with over the years, and we are grateful for the memories and all that they've contributed. They will be greatly missed, and we wish them nothing but the best for the future". The developer says that the layoffs will not have an effect on its current development operations.
There are plenty of alternative payments to cash, debit and credit cards, but it will take years of development for widespread consumer adoption. Vendors hope mobile payments, for example, will provide a cashless and cardless payment choice, while other solutions are being developed.
"As technology drives a shift in how we buy things, the revenue that the payments industry extracts could grow to more than US $2 trillion a year by 2023, double the 2013 figure, the Boston Consulting Group predicts," noted "The Future of Money" report from MIT Technology Review. "Much of that increase will come from a reduction in cash payments in developing countries."
The US mobile payment will expand from $52 billion last year up to $142 billion by 2019, the Forrester Research analyst group predicts. Consumers have smartphones and the ability to use mobile payments, but it's still going to take time to build trust and confidence.
The US government is going to accept Apple Pay mobile payments later this year, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook. The mobile payments will be accepted for Social Security Benefits, National Park admission and other similar efforts starting in September.
Apple is working with the US government so procurement cards can be issued to federal workers. Actual Apple Pay use by consumers may be relatively low, but the company has reached deals with more than 2,000 banks across the country to adopt the service.
"Starting in September, Apple Pay will be available for many transactions with the federal government, like for example when you pay for admission to your favorite national park," Cook said during the cybersecurity summit at Stanford University.
Shell customers in the UK will be able to pay for gas at the pump using the Shell Motorist App or the PayPal App, providing drivers another method to pay. The service will be available at more than 1,000 Shell stations throughout the UK - starting with the Shell Drivers Club in April.
The PayPal App is available for Google Android, Apple iOS and Microsoft Windows Phone.
"At PayPal, we've always believed people will use their mobile phones to pay if there's a clear benefit," said Rob Harper, mobile commerce director at PayPal UK. "With today's announcement, we're offering drivers a faster way to fill up their car and pay, and get back on the road."