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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 14

South Korea is on track to produce graphene-based products by 2017

The South Korean government has said that the country will begin producing and selling products using graphene by as early as 2017, making it one of the first countries in the world to commercialize the exciting new advanced material.

 

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Graphene, is as thin as an atom and when spread out onto a sheet of carbon, can transmit electric currents up to 1 million times faster than current conductors like copper. Additionally, it has twice the strength of diamonds. Graphene-based products will include flexible display panels and touchscreen panels. South Korea has been at the forefront of graphene research, with the company hoping to become one of the world's first nations to commercialize graphene production, with research starting 10 years ago. The "government named six consortia made up of 45 private firms and research institutes in 2013 to develop related technologies", reports The Korea Times.

 

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a press release: "The country believes it can create a new global market for graphene under its leadership as the country has developed leading technologies through over 10 years of research while it also has enough demand for the material in the mobile phone, display and secondary cell battery sectors".

Continue reading 'South Korea is on track to produce graphene-based products by 2017' (full post)

Samsung Q1 2015 isn't good, next few quarters won't be any better

We are on the eve of Samsung throwing its Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge handsets into consumers hands, but with the end of Q1 2015 here, we can expect the South Korean giant to soon release its quarterly report.

 

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Samsung is expecting its operating profits to be between $5.2-$5.6 billion, which is down from $7.8 billion this time last year. The company expects to see sales of between $42-$44 billion, down from the $48 billion from the same time last year. Sales and profits are expected to be lower than the previous quarter, since Q4 2014 was the holidays and all.

 

We should expect a bounce back of sorts, with the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge about to roll out. The official financial report will be released sometime later this month.

Crytek reportedly sign $50-$70 million licensing deal with Amazon

Just months after Crytek was reportedly in serious financial trouble, paying its staff late and laying some off, with the German-based studio behind the CryEngine and games like Crysis, reportedly signed a major licensing deal with Amazon.

 

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According to four sources of Kotaku, Amazon has agreed to a massive licensing deal for Crytek's CryEngine, worth between $50-70 million. The sources haven't said much more, but they said that this deal is enough to pull Crytek out of the financial black hole it was being sucked into last year.

 

If you asked me, Crytek need to get back into developing hardcore graphics engines for the PC and then scale down to consoles from there. Instead, they went full steam ahead into the consoles and that has seemingly backfired - requiring the help of Amazon.

Microsoft quietly lays off hundreds more employees in latest wave

Microsoft recently laid off hundreds of employees in the company's last effort to slash 18,000 jobs that started in 2014. This most recent round of cuts focused mainly on the company's IT group, but also said other departments were impacted. It was done to "remove role overlap, optimize activities and functions, align disciplines with the rest of Microsoft, and, perhaps most importantly, reshape IT for the skills we need to transform," Microsoft CIO Jim DuBois told employees via email.

 

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The layoffs took place in July, September, October and this April, and is the largest round of layoffs Microsoft has ever conducted. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was focused on helping the company restructure, especially after the purchase of Nokia's phone hardware business.

 

"We expect this to be the last of the anticipated broad cuts as part of the restructuring plan announced last July," a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement released over the weekend.

Sharp rumored to spinoff its smartphone LCD division

Sharp hasn't been doing too well in the smartphone LCD market, with the likes of Samsung and LG dominating it. So the news of the company continuing its financial issues, and the possibilities of spinning off its LCD division shouldn't come as too much of a surprise.

 

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Sources close to Nikkei, Reuters and The Wall Street Journal are all reporting that Sharp is very close to spinning off its LCD division, something that would happen during Sharp's current fiscal year (in the next 12 months). The WSJ says that it could be announced before Sharp begins its restructuring plans in May.

 

If the rumors do end up being true, it goes to show just how hard the smartphone display market business is, especially with South Korea utterly dominating it right now.

Furious 7 has pulled in a huge $384 million so far, breaking records

If you've seen Furious 7 already, you will find it absolutely no surprise that the movie has pulled in a gigantic $384 million so far. During its opening weekend in the US, Furious 7 bought in $143 million alone.

 

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On top of the $143 million domestically, the movie has made over $240 million in the foreign market for a total of $384 million. This is a new record, with Furious 7 becoming the largest opening for any film in April, as well as being the largest opening for the franchise, and the ninth largest film opening in film history.

 

Box Office Mojo adds: "...That's without any help from China, Japan and Russia, where it will open in the next few weeks. So far, Furious 7 has earned $384 million worldwide, and is very likely on track to earn over $1 billion by the end of its run".

Continue reading 'Furious 7 has pulled in a huge $384 million so far, breaking records' (full post)

Dell maintains its position as the world's top supplier of PC displays

With over 150 suppliers shipping 34 million displays over Q4 2014, Dell has maintained its position as the number one PC monitor supplier in the world, according to the latest report from the IDC.

 

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With 34 million displays shipped in Q4 2014 seeing a 4.4% year-over-year decline, but a 1.3% increase on their forecast, the top five monitor manufacturers control a huge 60% of the market. Dell has secured itself 15.2% of the market, while Samsung has 12.7%. HP and Lenovo fall into third and fourth place with 11.8% and 10.9%, respectively. LG is in fifth place with 9.2%, leaving the rest of the market with the remaining 40%.

 

Dell shipped over 5.1 million displays in Q4 2014 while its closest competitor in Samsung shipped just under 4.3 million units, leaving HP to ship 4 million units, while Lenovo and LG shipped 3.6 million and 3.1 million units, respectively.

Senator wants to end rebate incentives for Tesla buyers

California created rebate incentives to help spur interest in electric vehicles and other clean-air vehicles, but the program is now under fire. Specifically, there is additional criticism when drivers are purchasing Tesla vehicles, as they carry a premium price tag.

 

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The state provides $2,500 in incentives for electric car purchases, and up to $5,000 for hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.

 

"it's hard for the average Californian to understand why someone buying a $100,000 car should get a rebate," said Senator Ted Gaines, in a public statement. "That's the same question I posed to myself, and it was hard to justify."

Continue reading 'Senator wants to end rebate incentives for Tesla buyers' (full post)

GoDaddy has been valued at over $5 billion after its IPO

GoDaddy is now on the New York Stock Exchange, with the company being valued at over $5 billion yesterday. Once GoDaddy hit the NYSE, their shares rose by a huge 30%.

 

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GoDaddy floated at $20 per share before it quickly rose as high as $26.80, which sees the company being valued at $5.5 billion, including debt. If you haven't heard of GoDaddy, they are a domain name registration and web hosting company, better known for their controversial Super Bowl ads. They raised $460 million from selling 23 million shares, so people have faith in them to dump half a billion dollars in a single day.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff helping employees leave Indiana

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is serious when he says employees in Indiana can move out of the state, and he is helping them do it. Several employees asked to be transferred elsewhere, out of the state following Gov. Mike Pence's signing of a religious freedom law, with Benioff saying one employee was given $50,000 for a relocation package.

 

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Salesforce has sizable business operations in Indiana, so individual employees are now being assisted if they wish to leave - but abandoning the state isn't so simple. Under the threat of reducing business in Indiana, Benioff is reportedly working with state lawmakers so that the religious freedom law is modified.

 

"This is a really important point that, you know, CEOs have a lot of power and control on investment in states and we want to invest in states where there is equality," Benioff said, in a statement published by CNN Money. "One thing that you're seeing is that there is a third [political] party emerging in this country, which is the party of CEOs."

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