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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."
NVIDIA had a huge year last year, ending the second half of the year launching its new Maxwell architecture, giving birth to the great GeForce GTX 970 and GTX 980 cards. Well, the company has just posted its Q4 FY 2015 results, with revenues of $4.68 billion, up 13% from 2014.
The last three-month period was also a record for the company, with revenues of $1.25 billion, up 9% from the previous year. Gross margin for Q4 2015 was $699 million, or 55.9% which is up 1.8% over Q4 2014, and 0.7% up from Q3 2015. When it comes to the GPU business of NVIDIA, Q4 saw the company launch multiple GPUs in its GTX 900 series, with GPU revenue reaching $1.073 billion for Q4 alone, a nice 8% increase over Q3 2015, and a year-over-year gain of 13%.
The mobile sector of NVIDIA didn't do too well, with Tegra sales falling over the quarter, after multiple quarters of increasing amounts of shipments. Tegra revenue was just $112 million for Q4 2015, down from $168 million in Q3, and $131 million from a year ago. This is a 33% drop in revenue quarter-over-quarter, and 15% year-over-year. Strong GPU sales were able to offset the slump in smartphone and tablet SoC sales, but the automotive sector for Tegra is doing well for the company. For Q1 FY 2016 (doesn't this get confusing, fast?) has the company expecting revenues of $1.16 billion, or so.
Apple has just announced it is investing $848 million into a First Solar plant in California's Monterey County, something that will generate enough electricity to power a huge 60,000+ homes.
Apple will receive a 130-megawatt supply from the solar farm which it will use to power its future campus, while the remaining 150 megawatts will find a home with Pacific Gas & Energy's grid. This is a big deal, as it represents the biggest commercial deal that has ever happened in the solar industry.
JetBlue customers will be able to use Apple Pay to purchase snacks, drinks and other amenities while flying, with the airline company becoming the first to accept the mobile payment service. Since 2007, JetBlue has been cashless for on-board purchases, and the addition of mobile payments seems like a natural progression.
The new service will begin on JetBlue transcontinental flights from New York to either San Francisco or Los Angeles later this month.
"The sky is definitely not the limit when it comes to mobile payments with Apple Pay," said Marty St George, SVP of commercial flights at JetBlue. "Customers want an easy and fast transaction when they decide to make an on-board purchase so that they can get back to enjoying their flight."
After a 14-month investigation, China has said that it has found that Qualcomm has engaged in anti-competitive practices in the country. This has seen Qualcomm entered into a settlement with the government of China's National Development and Reform Commission.
This settlement has seen Qualcomm hand over $975 million, and in addition to the near $1 billion, the company has said that it will change "certain of its business practices in China". Qualcomm has added: "Although Qualcomm is disappointed with the results of the investigation, it is pleased that the NDRC has reviewed and approved the Company's rectification plan".